BJP-JD(U) reach 50:50 seat-sharing deal in Bihar, say reports
Ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections later this month, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (United) have come up with a 50:50 seat-sharing deal, reports said on Sunday. The two parties have reportedly "resolved a majority of issues" pertaining to seat-sharing. The pre-election grouping, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), has announced current Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as its CM candidate.
Sources told India Today that Kumar's JD(U) will be contesting elections on 122 seats of the 243 seats. Meanwhile, the BJP has been allotted 121 Assembly seats, the report stated. Reportedly, the JD(U) will be giving five-seven seats to Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and the BJP will accommodate Chirag Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) if it remains in the NDA.
The report added that Paswan's LJP has demanded at least 42 seats, but it has only been offered 15. Due to this, Paswan has indicated that the party may contest on 143 seats, outside the NDA fold. According to Hindustan Times, the LJP has also demanded "seats of its choice," including constituencies that are considered JD(U) and BJP's strongholds.
A senior BJP functionary told HT that if the LJP exits the alliance, the saffron party plans to rope in Mukesh Saini's VIP party. The party had exited the Opposition's Mahagathbandhan, also known as the Grand Alliance, on Saturday over seat-sharing.
The Opposition's alliance has announced Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav as its Chief Ministerial candidate. The RJD will contest on 144 seats, which will also accommodate the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. The Congress and the Left have been allotted 70 and 29 seats, respectively. The Opposition is planning to target the Kumar government over the coronavirus pandemic, the migrant crisis, and the floods.
The Bihar elections will be held in three phases. The first phase will be held on October 28 across 71 constituencies. The second phase for 94 constituencies will be held on November 3, followed by the third phase for 78 constituencies on November 7. The poll results will be declared on November 10. Bihar has 72 million registered voters, according to the Election Commission.