LJP, RLSP demand same number of seats as in 2014-polls
Two NDA constituents, LJP and RLSP, have made it clear that the number of seats they wanted to contest for the next Lok Sabha election was the same as that of 2014. This comes after speculation that BJP and JD(U) could field candidates on 34/40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, leaving the rest to Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP).
2014: BJP won 22 seats, LJP 6 and RLSP 3
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won 22 seats in Bihar in the 2014 election, while Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP had contested seven seats and won six. His colleague Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP had contested and won three seats.
'Nothing can be finalized if NDA alliance-partners don't sit together'
LJP's Bihar unit chief Pashupati Paras dismissed as "kite-flying" the rumors that his party and the RLSP were likely to make 'sacrifices' after BJP president Amit Shah and JD(U) supremo Nitish Kumar agreed to contest an equal number of seats in Bihar. "No seat-sharing talks will be complete until national presidents of NDA alliance partners, BJP, JD(U), LJP and RLSP, sit together," he said.
There's no reason why we shouldn't get our due: LJP
In reply to a query, Paras said, "Obviously we would like to contest from at least seven seats. We had won 6/7 seats we had contested last time, and lost one by a slender margin of 7,000 votes." "Our graph hasn't gone down since the last Lok Sabha poll and there is no reason why we should not get our due share," he added.
Wouldn't accept a share of less than three seats: RLSP
Asked about the agreement Shah and Kumar reached, Paras said it indicates "nothing". "The 50-50 formula could mean anything. It could even imply that the BJP and the JD(U) would be fighting only 10 each, leaving the remaining 20 for other allies," he added. Meanwhile, the RLSP insisted that it would not accept a share of less than three seats.
Despite meeting RJD's Tejashwi, RLSP chief maintains he's with NDA
Minutes after Shah and Kumar announced that they have reached a seat-sharing arrangement, Upendra Kushwaha met RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav in Bihar, giving rise to a speculation of RLSP joining the alliance. However, the RLSP chief, who shares an uneasy relationship with Kumar, has maintained that he is with the NDA, despite a standing invitation extended by Yadav to join the Grand Alliance.
Kumar's comments about Kushwaha started clash between the leaders
Relations between Kushwaha and Kumar soured recently after the chief minister remarked that speaking about the dispute over seat-sharing with the RLSP was tantamount to lowering the standard of discourse. After this, Kushwaha claimed that Kumar had taunted him for having joined hands with the BJP again, after taking umbrage over PM Modi's caustic remark about his political DNA during the 2015 Assembly election.