NDA allies in Bihar fume after BJP says it will fight to hold its 23 Lok Sabha seats

In 2014, the BJP had won 23 of 40 Lok Sabha seats and its allies - LJP and RLSP - had won six and three seats, respectively.

NDA allies in  Bihar fume after BJP says it will fight to hold its 23 Lok Sabha seats

PATNA: Amid growing discontent between the NDA allies in Bihar over seat sharing for the 2019 parliamentary elections, a senior BJP leader has said that the party would contest from all 23 Lok Sabha seats it won last time in the state.

Clarifying the party's stand on the issue, BJP general secretary Rajender Singh has said that there would be no compromise on the sitting seats.

"BJP would contest all seats it won last time and the seats being represented by the party in the Lok Sabha," he said.

In 2014, the BJP had won 23 of 40 Lok Sabha seats and its allies - Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) - had won six and three seats, respectively.

Interestingly, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had contested 2014 polls on its own and won only two of the 40 seats.

After Singh said that the party would not share its winning seat with allies, particularly the JD(U) that joined hands with the BJP only last July to form government in the state, JD(U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh said that if the BJP was confident to win all seats, it did not need any allies.

Sanjay Singh also cautioned the BJP leaders to avoid making such statements in public ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The statement from Rajender Singh came at a time when there are reports of growing resentment among constituents of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over seat sharing for the 2019 polls.

Citing lack of coordination in the BJP-led NDA, RLSP chief and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha had earlier this month demanded a decision on distribution of seats among the allies for the parliamentary elections.

Soon after that, the LJP led by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan too backed Kushwaha and said that said that it would not compromise on the seats held by it.

Interestingly, two senior JD(U) leaders - Pawan Verma and KC Tyagi – had earlier claimed that Nitish Kumar would spearhead the NDA challenge next year, and other party leaders followed by saying that the party would contest 25 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar as it did in 2009 as an ally of the NDA.

Such demands may spell trouble for the BJP-led NDA in Bihar with regard to seat sharing.

Apparently, the BJP is keen to play the "big brother" in the backdrop of its better-than-expected performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

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