After BJP’s loss in Jharkhand, JD(U) drives a hard bargain for seats in Bihar

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 31, 2019 Published on December 31, 2019

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar   -  PTI

As a consequence of the BJP’s decisive loss in neighbouring Jharkhand, the Janata Dal (United) has already started bargaining for a larger share in seat distribution for the Assembly elections due in the coming year.

Prashant Kishor’s attack

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s comment on Tuesday that “sab theek hai (everything is all right)” came in the wake of his political strategist Prashant Kishor first attacking the BJP on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens and then asserting that the JD(U) should get a larger share of seats in Bihar.

Kishor had said on Sunday that both parties cannot fight an equal number of seats given that the JD(U) had contested a larger share in 2010, the last election they fought together. In 2015, Nitish Kumar had teamed up with Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress to defeat the BJP in the Assembly elections.

However, Kumar deserted the alliance and formed a government with the BJP midway through his term. Given the BJP’s poor performance in Jharkhand, the JD(U) is clearly convinced that it would be able to push the BJP into parting a larger number of seats.

“We had contested over 140 seats in 2010 and were the single largest party in the assembly with 115 seats. We are clear that the share this time too should be 1:1.4,” JD(U) leader KC Tyagi told BusinessLine.

Tyagi was repeating the formula put forth by Prashant Kishor. However, the BJP is not about to let such assertions go uncontested. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Modi mounted a scathing attack on Kishor for speaking out of turn.

BJP hits back

“A person running a business for profit first tries to create a market for his service, thinks about the welfare of the country later,” said Sushil Modi on his Twitter handle.

“It has been decided that the 2020 Assembly election will be contested under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The decision regarding seat sharing will be taken by the leadership when the time comes. There is no problem at all,” said Modi.

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Published on December 31, 2019
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