In reports which if confirmed could result in a big blow to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar, the Janata Dal United (JDU) is reportedly seeking to part ways with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections following differences with the BJP over seat-sharing in the state.
The NDA in Bihar on Thursday finalised its seat-sharing formula for the upcoming elections. As per sources, of the total 40 Lok Sabha seats, the BJP will be fighting on 20 seats, JDU on 12 seats and Lok Janshakti Party will contest on five seats. If Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) fights as a part of the NDA, they could be given two seats in Bihar from the BJP quota.
However, reportedly the JD(U) and the BJP had earlier decided to contest elections sharing an equal number of seats. But now the 20-12 seat sharing formula has upset the JD(U) and the idea of parting ways has gained momentum. It is also reported that the party led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will part ways from the NDA in January 2019.
JD(U) might also go back and join the 'Mahagatbandhan', according to reports.
Patna-JDU spokesman Neeraj Kumar on the question of separation of JD(U) from NDA said, "Those who are daydreaming are making such rumours. There is not a single ounce of truth in this reports." However, he added, "the decision of CM Nitish Kumar has been accepted by the NDA alliance parties. From where did the question of seat splitting arise. All matters will be resolved by meeting".
Former minister Vijay Prakash said, "Nitish Kumar should have taken the decision 6 months ago. Only Lalu Prasad Yadav respected to him. JD(U) will be given only 8-7 seats by BJP.
As per sources, the seat-sharing formula was finalised in consultations between BJP chief Amit Shah and JDU chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. It is being said that the formula was given the final shape during Shah's recent visit to Bihar.
There are 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, and it has been decided that the BJP and JDU divide them equally between them and then share some of the seats with the smaller allies. As per the agreement, LJP will get 5-6 seats out of the JDU's share while the two seats for the RLSP will be given out of BJP's share. It was also decided that if Kushwaha breaks the alliance, the two seats reserved for him will be distributed between BJP and JDU.
The seat sharing formula comes at a time when the opposition parties are busy stitching an alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.