The JD(U) is excited at the possibility of being able to form a government on its own in Bihar, basing its optimism on a survey done by a New Delhi-based agency.
The survey said the party could win 120 (plus or minus 5) seats, enough to bring the JD(U) within striking distance of the 122 seats (the assembly’s strength is 243) required to form the government.
However, if it was to stay in alliance with the BJP, it could garner 95 (plus or minus five) seats, with the BJP getting 60.
"That (survey) has created a buoyancy in the party. This means that the BJP bandwagon has been impeding the JD(U) from striking out on its own.
There was also the realisation that the JD(U) could draw more than 40 extra seats without its ally and that the alliance benefited only the BJP," said a top JD(U) leader on condition of anonymity. He also declined to name the agency which conducted the survey.
The JD(U) currently has 81 seats in the assembly and the BJP 54. The higher number of seats for the JD(U) projected in the survey is reckoned on the support the party may get from Muslims (17 per cent of the electorate).
Under wraps, the BJP too commissioned its own study. The study projected 55-60 seats for the BJP — which is more than the 54 seats it now holds now. The holding of the BJP-sponsored survey was confirmed by the party’s Bihar unit president, C.P. Thakur.