BJP-JD(U) start seat sharing exercise ahead of Bihar polls

Patna (IANS) Soon after Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah announced at a rally in Bihar's Vaishali district that the National Democratic Alliance will contest the upcoming state poll under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, both the BJP and the JD(U) have started working on a seat sharing formula.

Sources claim that both parties can agree to contest the poll on 50-50 (equal number of) seats on the lines of the Lok Sabha elections. There are 243 seats in the Bihar Assembly.

In the last Assembly elections, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the BJP contested separately, whereas before that in 2010, both the parties contested together.

Sources claim that the seat sharing formula for the 2020 Assembly election may be based on the Lok Sabha election formula. If this happens, then this time the candidates may be changed in 52 Assembly constituencies out of the 124 existing seats that both the parties have.

In the last election, the JD(U) had won 71 seats, while the BJP won 53 seats. In such a situation, there are 24 seats where the BJP was first and the JD(U) was second, while there are 28 seats where the JD(U) was first and the BJP was second. In such a situation, it is certain that candidates may change in some seats.

Santosh Singh, a politician and senior journalist from Patna, however, rejects this formula. He said the JD(U) was in a different coalition in the last election, while it would be in the NDA in the 2020 elections, so the equations would also change.

He said that in the last election the JD(U), which contested in alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal, was in a stronger position than the BJP in many seats. Such seats will go to the JD(U)'s account. In the event of the BJP becoming stronger, it is certain that both the parties will contest on an equal number of seats. However, in politics anything is possible.

JD(U) Vice-President Prashant Kishor had said recently that seat-sharing between the JD(U) and the BJP should be done under the 2010 formula. At that time, the BJP had fielded candidates for 102 seats and the JD(U) for 141 seats.

Although Kishore's statement was rejected by many JD(U) leaders, some people say that Kishore made this statement at the behest of Nitish Kumar.

A BJP leader said that the way the seats were divided between parties in the Lok Sabha elections can still apply. He said that after giving seats to other allies of the alliance in the Lok Sabha elections, the remaining seats were divided on the basis of the 50-50 formula between the BJP and the JD(U). The same formula can be applied in the Assembly elections.

However, after the announcement of the NDA contesting elections under Nitish's leadership, it is certain that the BJP and the JD(U) will be in the electoral fray together.

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