BJP To Contest 17 Seats, JDU 16, Chirag Paswan’s Party 5 In Bihar

New Delhi:

The NDA formally announced its seat-share formula in Bihar this evening, which placed the BJP firmly as the ‘big brother’ in the state with 17 seats to contest. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United, which previously had the pole position in the alliance in Bihar, will contest on 16 seats.  Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party will contest on five seats, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustan Awam Morcha and Upendra Kushwaha’s RLM gets one seat each.

The LJP faction led by Chirag Paswan’s uncle Pashupati Paras — who landed a cabinet berth after splitting the party three years ago — is not part of the NDA. The Paras faction was dropped after it became clear that Chirag Paswan’s unit had complete command over the Paswan vote. The community comprises 6 per cent of the voting population.

The BJP has taken Nawada — a stronghold of the LJP — and has given Sheohar to Mr Kumar’s JD(U) in place of Gaya and Karakat.  The JD(U) has also got Kishanganj, which it lost to the Congress last time.

Sources said Nitish Kumar had lobbied hard to get the Sheohar seat, from where it is likely to field Lovely Anand who joined the party this evening. Lovely Anand is the wife of former MP Anand Mohan and mother of Chetan Anand, then RJD MLA who openly sided with Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) during the vote of confidence.

Mr Kumar’s JD(U), which broke the Grand Alliance a second time and joined hands with the BJP early this year, appeared nonchalant about the shift in its status. “We are confident that the NDA will win all 40 seats,” Sanjay Jha of the Janata Dal United said today.

Even in 2019, the two parties, after a silent and bitter face-off, had decided on a 50:50 formula and contested on equal number of seats.

The division was 17 seats each for the BJP and Mr Kumar’s Janata Dal United and six for Lok Janshakti Party, then led by Chirag Paswan’s father Ram Vilas Paswan.

Mr Kumar, who changed camp after being upset over multiple issues in the INDIA bloc, has said he would now stay with the NDA “forever”.


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