Dissent hits Bihar BJP as party leaves Lok Sabha seat won in 2014 for JD-U
A large number of BJP functionaries have resigned in Valmikinagar parliamentary constituencies objecting to party’s decision to concede this seat to ally JD-U in the Lok Sabha polls.Updated: Mar 16, 2019 19:35 IST
Even before the names of the Bharatiya Janata Party candidates for the Lok Sabha election could be made public, the party in Bihar stares at a possible dissent. As the name of the constituencies to be contested by each of the NDA alliance partners became public, the BJP West Champaran district unit received a major jolt on Saturday.
A large number of the BJP functionaries resigned in objecting to allocation of Valmikinagar parliamentary seat to the Janata Dal-United, an ally in the ruling NDA.
“As many as 15 mandal president, two district office-bearers (mantris) and IT cell coordinator, besides the president of Kisan Morcha have resigned from their posts in protest against the allocation of the seat to the JD-U. We are going to forward the resignation to the state headquarters,” said Ganga Prasad Pandey, BJP West Champaran president.
As per the seat-sharing agreement, the BJP and the JD-U would be contesting on 17 seats each while the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan will contest on six seats.
BJP’s sitting MP Satish Chandra Dubey had won the seat in 2014 by securing 40.44 per cent votes. The seat was represented by JD-U’s Baidyanath Mahto in 2009.
Speaking from New Delhi, Satish Dubey described the en masse resignation as momentary emotional outburst. “I am an obedient party worker of BJP and will abide by the directives of the party,” Dubey said.
Asked if he fancied his chances as JD-U nominee from the Lok Sabha seat in an alternative arrangement, he said: “Being a dedicated party worker, it is up to the party and NDA to make decide how my services can best be availed. I am set to abide by their directives in its letter and spirit.”
“We will have to watch our step before making any announcements. Any wrong move could hamper the party’s prospects, especially as the united opposition is leaving no stone unturned to defeat the BJP,” said a senior BJP leader.
In such a scenario, it will be interesting to see how BJP keeps its flock together in Bihar during the general elections.As per the seat arrangements, the BJP has decided to give five of its seats won in 2014 Lok Sabha election – Valmikinagar, Jhanjharpur, Gopalganj, Siwan and Gaya - to its alliance partner JD-U.
The suspense over another prestigious seat Darbhanga, which was represented by cricketer-cum-politician Kirti Azad is also over with the BJP retaining the seat. It was being speculated that Darbhanga Lok Sabha seat might go to the JD-U. On the other hand, the JD-U has also foregone its claim for two Patna seats, Patna Sahib and Patliputra.
In 2009, JD-U and BJP contested the Lok Sabha polls with a seat-sharing formula of 25-15. While BJP won 12 out of 15, the JD-U won 20. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar later walked away from the NDA ahead of 2014 elections over the BJP’s decision to project then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.
The two parties contested 2014 parliamentary polls separately. The BJP won 22 seats on its own while its new ally, the LJP secured six out of the seven seats it contested. Other alliance partner, the RLSP won three out of four seats it contested. The JD-U could only of the 40 seats.
(With Inputs from HT Correspondent, Bettiah)
First Published: Mar 16, 2019 19:35 IST