Of the 243 seats in Bihar Assembly, the JD(U) has got 122 seats of which it will give seven seats to HAM, whereas the BJP will contest in 121 seats, and is in discussion with VIP for a seat-sharing arrangement within its quota
The NDA will contest the upcoming Bihar Assembly election under the leadership of JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar, the alliance reiterated at a press conference on Tuesday, amid an ongoing tiff between the JD(U) and alliance partner LJP.
“The JD(U) has got 122 seats out of which we have set aside seven for the Hindustani Awam Morcha (headed by former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi). The BJP has got the remaining 121 wherein new entrant Vikassheel Insaan Party of Mukesh Sahni will be accommodated”, Kumar told reporters.
There are total 243 seats in Bihar Assembly.
Bhupender Yadav, BJP national general secretary and in-charge of Bihar and Gujarat, said that the alliance win the election with two-third majority.
“The BJP is completely behind Nitish Kumar to contest the election under his leadership. It’s clear that the two parties with the BJP and JD(U) will win the election with two-third majority.”
पार्टी पूरी तरह से @NitishKumar जी के नेतृत्व में एकजुट होकर लड़ेगी। यह स्पष्ट है कि इस चुनाव में #BJP और @Jduonline के साथ जो दो और पार्टियां हैं, तीन-चौथाई बहुमत के साथ जीत हासिल करेंगी- श्री @byadavbjp pic.twitter.com/EStCfO8CBf
— BJP Bihar (@BJP4Bihar) October 6, 2020
The BJP and LJP had contested the election together in the previous election while the JD(U) had formed the Bihar Mahagathbandhan alliance with the RJD and Congress before breaking out of it to join hands with the BJP.
However, no seats were announced for the LJP, whose president Chirag Paswan has taken a dissenting stand against Kumar since he launched a “Bihar First Bihari First” campaign in March. Though Chirag swears by his loyalty to the BJP and the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP leaders clarified on Tuesday that only those who are willing to accept Kumar’s leadership in Bihar will be part of the NDA.
“We respect LJP and Ram Vilas Paswan ji but want to clear that Nitish Kumar is the leader of NDA in Bihar elections. We hope, Ram Vilas gets better sooon. Bihar’s leader in NDA is Nitish Kumar. Only those who respect Kumar’s leadership will remain in the NDA,” said BJP’s Bihar president Sanjay Jaiswal.
The LJP patriarch is currently recuperating after undergoing a heart surgery at a Delhi hospital. The statement seems to have placed a question mark over the LJP’s future in the NDA and in Bihar. The LJP is party of the NDA alliance at the Centre with party founder and Rajya Sabha MP Ram Vilas Paswan part of the Modi cabinet as the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
Though Paswan aborted its “Bihar first” campaign mid-way because of the spread of COVID 19 pandemic and the ensuring lockdown, he however, continued to take potshots at the government of the state pointing out that his party supported it without being its part, and questioned Kumar’s handling of the migrant crisis.
Before announcing severing of ties with the JD(U), the LJP had said that it was committed to ensuring implementation of Chirag Paswan’s “Bihar First Bihari First vision document” and ridiculed the second part of Nitish Kumar’s saat nishchay (seven resolves).
On Tuesday, Chirag, according to News18 announced that “as soon as the next government is formed, all accused guilty of corruption in the seven government schemes will be sent to jail after probe”. The pending amount will be paid immediately so that the incomplete work can be completed, he added.
On Monday, allies turned adversaries JD(U) and LJP, sparred over an open letter from Paswan who had asserted that votes cast in favour of the party headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will facilitate “forced migration” of future generations.
In his evocative open letter, Paswan whose father and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan had floated the party nearly two decades ago said evocatively “we do not have much time to waste. It is a question of life and death for 120 million Biharis. “Every vote cast in favour of a JD(U) candidate will condemn your children to forced migration”. He, however, vowed to facilitate the formation of a “BJP-led government” in Bihar.
In the past, he had said that the JJP party had “ideological differences” with the JD(U) and will not contest the upcoming assembly polls as part of the NDA. The JD(U), which has been taken aback by the LJPs brinkmanship, reacted with indignation and issued a statement that is likely to cut close to the bone.
“He has undertaken his political journey under the shadow of his father. He has no standing of his own. He has no understanding of the issues that matter on the ground. “It is a fact that in dynasty politics, people end up harbouring huge ambitions without making much contributions”, JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said.
Prasad said Paswan junior will be facing “his real test in the Bihar elections. The mandate will make him realise how much support he enjoys at the grassroots level. The people of Bihar are not going to be swayed by his tall talk”.
On Tuesday, the BJP too made its stand clear on the issue. Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi reiterated: “If Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan was well then the issue would have been different. Ram Vilas Paswan was sent to Rajya Sabha with JD(U) support. There is no confusion over Nitish Kumar’s leadership as he will be next chief minisetr,” said Modi at NDA Press Conference.
— BJP Bihar (@BJP4Bihar) October 6, 2020
At the press conference on Tuesday, Kumar did not mention Chirag by name but remarked sarcastically, “I believe in doing my job. If some people derive pleasure out of saying something inconsequential, they are most welcome to do so. It does not bother me”.
However, he sought to rebuff Chirag’s allegation that the JD(U) has not treated its alliance partners in the state well and asked “did Ram Vilas Paswan get elected to the Rajya Sabha without JD(U)s support?”
It remains to be seen what LJP does next ahead of the Assembly polls.
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