Union minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy on Wednesday said in an interview with a news channel that it was difficult for the Bharatiya Janata Party to get a majority on its own in the upcoming Bihar elections, but with its allies the party would be able to cross the majority mark.
Rudy, a member of the Lok Sabha, said to get a majority the BJP would need to win about 90% of the 160 seats his party has decided to contest in alliance with three other parties — comprising the BJP, Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party and Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha. The Bihar assembly has 243 members and for a simple majority, a party needs to win 122 seats.
In the interview, the Union minister claimed that the NDA combine would cross the 122-plus mark.
The LJP will field candidates in 40 seats and the RLSP in 23 seats. The HAM has got 20 seats in the alliance.
On the issue of a chief ministerial candidate, Rudy said the NDA can name someone if there was a need.
The minister said he would not reveal anything more on a TV show and would speak when time comes.
Incidentally, BJP chief Amit Shah had recently announced that the party would go to polls in Bihar under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Asked if Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav broke ranks with the grand alliance under pressure from the BJP, Rudy said the question should be put to him (Mulayam). However, he did hint that there was more to the matter than was out in the open.
A grand alliance of the Congress, the ruling Janata Dal United and the Rashtriya Janata Dal was formed earlier this year to take on the NDA combine in Bihar.
As someone who had earlier taken potshots at party colleague Shatrughan Sinha — an MP from Patna Sahib — the Union minister refused to attach much importance to his statements saying he has become irrelevant and they do not talk about the star-turned-politician in the BJP.
Rudy, however, repeatedly described Sinha as a friend.