Prashant Kishor says JD(U) should get larger share of seats in 2020 Bihar polls
Janata Dal United leader and poll strategist Prashant Kishor has said that JD(U) should get a larger share of seats in Bihar assembly polls next year and suggested it could be done on the lines of the 2009 formula. BJP questioned Kishor’s locus standi and said decision on seat sharing was a prerogative of the NDA’s top leadership.
After openly opposing JDU’s support to the CAA earlier this month, party vice president Prashant Kishor created fresh ripples in state politics on Sunday by stating JD (U) should get the larger share of seats in the forthcoming assembly polls.
Kishore told a TV channel that seat-sharing talks could be held on the basis of “1:1.4 ratio” as per the old formula followed in 2009 when the BJP and JD(U) fought the elections in alliance. He added that the ratio of seats won by the two parties in 2015 elections was also close to the 1:1.4 ratio, which provides a good basis for future seat-sharing discussions.
“The talks between the JD(U) and the BJP for division of seats for the Assembly polls next year could be held on the basis of the 1:1.4 ratio, while it is possible for it to be even 1:1.35 or 1:1.3, but it can’t be 1:1, since the JD(U) is the bigger party in Bihar and the elections will be fought with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as the face of the alliance and therefore the basis of the discussion could be around 1:1.4 ratio and thereabouts only,” said Kishor.
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He qualified his statement by saying it was his opinion on the matter. He also added the elections were some distance away and presently there was no discussion on it.
The NDA in Bihar includes the BJP, the JD (U) and the LJP and the BJP national president Amit Shah has already made it clear that the assembly elections will be contested under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s leadership.
The JD (U) and the BJP fought on 17 seats each during the Lok Sabha polls held earlier this year, leaving six for the LJP. The BJP and the LJP won all the allotted seats and the JD (U) lost only one. It was widely believed that the NDA partners would stick to the same formula in the assembly elections as well.
Kishor’s claim on a larger seat share for the JD(U) comes soon after Shiv Sena quit the NDA over power-sharing disagreements with the BJP in Maharashtra.
“This, coupled with BJP’s poor performance in Jharkhand assembly elections, is going to prompt the JD (U) to stake for a larger share,” said DM Diwakar, political analyst at A N Sinha Institute for Social Studies.
The JD (U) had fought the 2015 assembly elections in alliance with the RJD and the Congress, winning 71 out of the 101 seats contested. The RJD won 81 of the 101 seats it fought on. The BJP has the poorest strike rate with victories on just 53 seats out of the 159 it contested.
The saffron party dismissed Kishor’s suggestion and questioned the capacity in which he was advising on seat sharing.
“NDA is sure to sweep 2020 Bihar polls by defeating the Grand Alliance. BJP believes in maintaining decorum, discipline and not to make any public statement which has only news value. All the decisions in NDA related to election 2020 is a matter of discussion between our top leadership,” said BJP’s Bihar spokesperson Nikhil Anand.
Some leaders pointed out that Nitish Kumar, despite having won 115 seats on its own in 2010, had agreed to contest on an equal number of seats (101) in alliance with Lalu Prasad’s RJD in 2015
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