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Published On: Thu, Aug 30th, 2018

Shatrughan Sinha, Kirti Azad may not get tickets

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seat sharing-30PATNA/ NEW DELHI :  Under pressure from ally Nitish Kumar to settle the thorny issue of seat sharing in Bihar in next year’s general elections, the BJP has come up with a first draft of the plan, giving itself a lion’s share of the state’s 40 seats. But a deal appears a long way off, with Nitish Kumar’s leaders hinting that the BJP needs to get back to the drawing board.
As per sources, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be fighting on 20 seats, Janata Dal United (JDU) on 12 seats and Lok Janshakti Party will contest on five seats. The BJP top leadership is believed to be working overtime to thrash out the contentious issue of seat sharing for Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha seats. shatru-kirti-30
Leaders of the BJP indicate the seat sharing formula is by no means final. “Nothing has been finalised, once it is, you will come to know,” said senior BJP leader Bhupendra Yadav.
Though there has been no official announcement on the issue, those who are well aware of the developments told  that the saffron camp mooted a 20:20 formula where the BJP would contest 20 Lok Sabha seats while its alliance partners – the JD(U), the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) – would contest the remaining 20 seats.

The JD(U) is likely to get 12 seats, the LJP five and Kushwaha’s outfit two seats. One seat will be left for rebel RLSP MP from Jehanabad Arun Kumar. Sources said the formula, if agreed upon, will see a climbdown by all the parties concerned.

“If Kushwaha remains with the NDA, he will get two seats. If he deserts NDA and joins the RJD-led ‘Mahagatbandhan’, the quota of his two seats will be divided between the BJP and the JD(U),” the source, preferring anonymity, said.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the NDA won 31 seats in Bihar. This included the BJP’s 22 seats, LJP six and the RLSP three. One RLSP MP Arun Kumar later raised a banner of revolt against Kushwaha and is now a separate entity within the NDA.

It is pertinent to mention here that when Nitish was not part of the NDA during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP contested on 30 seats while the LJP and the RLSP contested on seven and three seats, respectively. While Paswan’s party won six seats, the RLSP won in all the three constituencies. The BJP romped home on 22 seats but Nitish’s JD(U) contested on its own and scraped through on merely two seats.
Upendra Kushwaha, he indicated, need not be factored in, since by all indications, he is on his way out of the alliance. With his recipe of kheer — milk from the Yadavs and rice from the agrarian Kushwahas — the Union minister has triggered buzz that he might change partners.
But sharing of the state’s 40 seats has been a contentious issue and in July, BJP chief Amit Shah flew down to Patna to test the waters.  When the BJP missed the August 12 deadline to settle the issue, the JD(U) issued a reminder. Party leader KC Tyagi said given JD(U)’s resources constraints, it would need clarity on the issue to “contest wholeheartedly”.(With Inputs from Delhi)

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