Bihar Polls: Seat-Share Conundrum in NDA, RJD-Cong Alliance Final

The first phase of Bihar election is to be held on 28 October, with less than a month left for campaigning.

3 min read
Even though BJP and JDU are claiming that “All-is-Well”, a seat-sharing complication between BJP-JDU and LJP, in the NDA, remains unresolved.

Four days have passed since the dates of Bihar Election 2020 were announced, but some seat-sharing issues for NDA, as well as for the RJD-Congress alliance, are yet to reach a conclusion.

Many news channels and newspapers are making different claims on the seat-sharing. It is being said that the formula has been fixed. The Quint, however, talked to big leaders of BJP-JDU and RJD and tried to find out why there is a delay in seat-sharing.


Chaos over Seats in the NDA

The first phase of Bihar election is to be held on 28 October, with less than a month left for campaigning. On the condition of anonymity, a big Bihar BJP politician told The Quint that reports in the media about the BJP contesting 100 seats are not true, but the seats will certainly be somewhere around it.

If there is no significant change to existing plans, the candidates will be announced in two days.

When The Quint spoke to a senior leader of JDU, he clearly said that there is no basis for the news doing the rounds in the media. These are all maneuvers and the BJP itself runs these news reports, he said.

On being asked when will the seats be announced, he said:

“This problem is being caused by the LJP, the matter is stuck on what the LJP wants. If the LJP goes away from the alliance, there is no problem between the BJP and us. Till what is to be done with the LJP is decided, there is a problem. ”   

JDU’s Demand: More Seats to Contest

On being asked how many seats does the JDU want to contest, the leader said:

“See we have 71 MLAs and BJP has 53, in such a situation we should have more seats, we believe that. Now if BJP has 100 seats, then it should give 42 seats to the LJP from its quota, what have we to do with it? BJP can only bow down to a limit in front of LJP. They have majority in Lok Sabha. What difference does it make to BJP if LJP leaves or stays?”   

Reports in Bihar suggest that out of 243 Assembly seats, JDU will contest in 104 seats, and BJP will field Chirag Paswan's LJP on 30 of its 100 seats. Apart from this, the leftover can be given to Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM.


Chirag Paswan and JP Nadda Meet

Meanwhile, Chirag Paswan and BJP President JP Nadda met in Delhi on Monday. LJP parliamentary committee member and spokesperson Sanjay Singh said that there was a long discussion between the two about seat-sharing.

“Party President Chirag Paswan spoke to JP Nadda to contest elections in 143 seats under Bihar First, Bihari First. Whatever the decision is, our party will announce seats in two days.”
Sanjay Singh, LJP, spokesperson   

When The Quint asked questions on the offer of 27 Assembly seats, 2 Legislative Council and one Rajya Sabha seat, Sanjay Singh said that there is no basis for these reports.

RJD-Congress Confirmed, Discussions on Just a Few Seats Left

On the other hand, a close agreement has been reached between Lalu Yadav's RJD and Congress on seat-sharing. RJD spokesman Chittaranjan Gagan told The Quint that it is certain that his party will contest on more than 150 seats. The seats have been finalised with Congress, left parties and Mukesh Sahni's party VIP. The announcement will come in just one to two days.

An RJD leader told The Quint, on the condition of anonymity, that now negotiations are underway not on the seat number but on who will claim which seat. But it is only with regard to a few seats that the decision is taking this long.

2015 Assembly Elections: Who Got How Many Seats?

In the 2015 elections, LJP contested 42 seats in which it won only two seats. BJP, on its part, could win only 53 seats after contesting 157 seats.

Who won how many votes/seats in 2015.
Who won how many votes/seats in 2015.
(Photo: Quint Hindi)

Meanwhile, RJD and JDU contested on 101 seats each and Congress on 41 seats. Out of which RJD won 80, JDU 71 and Congress 27 seats. But, this time around, JDU and BJP are together.

Elections are to be held in three phases in Bihar: 28 October, 3 and 7 November. Results will be out on 10 November.

(This piece was originally published in Quint Hindi and has been translated. Read the original story here.)

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