NDA announces seat-share pact in Bihar but yet to declare list

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Sunday announced the allotment of Lok Sabha seats among three allies—Janata Dal (United) or JD (U), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP)— in Bihar. The BJP and JD (U) will contest 17 seats each while LJP the rest of the six seats.

State presidents of BJP, JD (U) and LJP, Nityanand Rai, Pashupati Kumar Paras and Bashistha Narain Singh announced the list of respective seats. They said that the names of individual candidates would be declared jointly in a day or two.

Singh said that the seat distribution exercise had been finalised with mutual consultations and without any hitches.

“NDA allies will be approaching the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as a close-knit unit on all the 40 seats,” he said.

JD (U), which contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls on its own, won only two seats of Nalanda and Purnia. It has emerged as the biggest gainer in the present seat-sharing deal after it returned back to the NDA fold in July 2017.

JD (U)’s re-entry has forced BJP to leave five of its 22 sitting seats. These include Valmikinagar, Gopalganj, Siwan, Gaya, and Jhanjharpur. The BJP had contested 30 seats in Bihar in 2014 polls in alliance with LJP (7) and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (3).

JD (U) national president and chief minister Nitish Kumar’s stitched the equal seat-sharing deal with BJP. In doing so, the BJP had to bring LJP on board for leaving one seat from its share.

Singh said the NDA is headed for a clean sweep as the support for the alliance was strong due to the people-oriented development work of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Nitish Kumar.

“When every party has agreed on the seat distribution, it means everybody has got seats of their choice,” he said when asked whether the party was pleased to get the seats of its choice.

Paras said the NDA will bag 40 out of 40 seats and contribute to the target of winning 400 seats at the national level. “We are happy to retain a majority of the sitting seats. Having Nawada, in place of Munger, does not change our winning prospects,” he said.

Rai said the alliance is rock solid and people engaged in politics for personal gains cannot match up to the development Nitish Kumar and Modi have done.

Bihar has the most seats – 40 – after Uttar Pradesh (80), Maharashtra (48) and West Bengal (42).

The BJP-led NDA won 31 of the 40 seats in the state in 2014. Of this, BJP won 22 seats, LJP six and the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) three. The RLSP has joined the Opposition Grand Alliance this time.

(With agency inputs)

First Published:
Mar 18, 2019 00:00 IST

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