Amid growing restlessness over seat sharing for the 2019 elections among the allies of the BJP-led NDA in Bihar, a senior BJP leader on Monday said the party would contest from all Lok Sabha seats it won last time in the state.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) general secretary Rajender Singh said 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) of 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 if the BJP was confident to win all seats, it did not need any allies.
Sanjay Singh advised the BJP leader to avoid making such statements in public ahead of the general elections.
There are reports of growing differences among constituents of the 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 earlier this month demanded a decision on distribution of seats among the allies for the parliamentary elections.
Soon after, the LJP of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan also said that it would not compromise on the seats held by it and supported the contention of Kushwaha.
Two senior JD-U leaders — Pawan Verma and K.C. Tyagi — also claimed that Nitish Kumar would spearhead the NDA challenge next year, and later other party leaders said 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 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.