New Delhi: BJP's strong show in the Bihar Legislative Council polls has not only boosted its morale ahead of the crucial Assembly elections due later this year but also enhanced its bargaining power vis-a-vis allies in the seat-sharing talks.
With BJP winning 11 of the 18 Council seats it contested, Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP pocketing only one of the four and Upendra Singh Kushwaha-led RLSP none out of the two they fought, BJP sources said the results were a reflection of the ground reality.
Allies like Union Minister Kushwaha-led RLSP and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), which did not contest the Council poll, have been demanding many more seats than what BJP is willing to concede, saffron party sources said.
LJP has been more "reasonable" in staking claim to seats but being the largest ally of the saffron party in the state, it would get maximum number of seats after BJP.
Kushwaha's party wanted over 60 seats, proposing that BJP contest 102 seats, as many as it had fought in 2010 polls when it was a junior partner to JD(U). RLSP has been insisting on BJP sparing 141 seats for its allies.
BJP chief Amit Shah has announced 'Mission 185' for the NDA and, for achieving the target in the 243-member Assembly, it is imperative for the party to contest as many seats as possible, BJP sources said.
RLSP Secretary General Dhiraj Singh disagreed with the view that results of the Legislative Council polls showed the respective strength of NDA constituents, saying his party's candidate was declared victorious once but was "made to lose because of the misuse of administrative machinary". Smaller parties are also more "vulnerable to money and muscle power" of the government, he said.
Singh, however, said seat-sharing talks will have no bearing on the unity of the NDA.