Putting speculation to rest that the ruling JD(U) is considering a re-alignment with the Congress-RJD Mahagadbandhan in Bihar, the Nitish Kumar-led party on Sunday decided to stick with the NDA, though the party will be firm in its demand for a ‘respectable’ share of seats.
JD(U)’s National Executive held at the national capital on Sunday authorised party president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to take a decision on the seat sharing formula with the BJP.
“To consider the coming Lok Sabha election, the National Executive has given all the powers to Mr Kumar to take decision”, said JD(U) general secretary and Mr Kumar’s close aid Sanjay Jha after the meeting.
However, party sources said that most the leaders attended the meeting stressed that the JD(U) should contest at least 17-18 seats in the total 40 seats from Bihar.
It is expected that BJP president Amit Shah, who is visiting Bihar on July 12, will meet Mr Kumar to discuss the seat sharing formula.
The JD(U) stated that it deserves to contest more seats as it had won 71 assembly seats in 2015, compared with the BJP, which had won 53 seats.
However, state BJP leaders pointed out that it has bagged 22 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the JD(U) has routed with only two seats. NDA’s other allies Ramvilas Paswan’s LJP, and Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP won six and three seats respectively.
However, the JD(U) leaders sought to downplay the differences on seat sharing and said it will be discussed and sorted out.
"We will fight the elections together as NDA and sweep the seats. The issues like which party will contest in how many seats will be decided later”, added Mr Jha.
The JD(U) will wait till the BJP makes an offer on seat sharing formula, sources added.
According to sources, Nitish Kumar has justified his decision to quit Mahagadbandhan, and shared the details of the importance to continue as the BJP ally.
Meanwhile, taking a strong stand on communalism, the Bihar Chief Minister conveyed in the meeting that he will not tolerate 3Cs, ‘corruption, crime and communalism’ and that he will act against these and not bother whether his government survives or not.
Mr Kumar’s assertion on communalism came after Union Minister from Bihar, Giriraj Singh on Sunday visited the family of a man accused of communal clashes, which took place in March in many districts in Bihar.
The National Executive also decided to support the proposal for simultaneous polls, which the BJP is proposing in a big way.
Along with party general secretaries, secretaries, 20 state presidents, and other leaders also attended the meeting. (UNI)