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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Unrest hits BJP as it cedes its Valmikinagar seat to JD(U)

The party’s West Champaran district unit received a major jolt on Saturday after a large number of the party functionaries resigned in anticipation of the allocation of Valmikinagar parliamentary seat to the JD(U).

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 17, 2019 02:40 IST
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The BJP in Bihar, which has ceded five of its seats to ally JD(U) as part of the seat sharing deal for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, is staring at unrest even before it announces names of its candidates. (PTI)

The BJP in Bihar, which has ceded five of its seats to ally JD(U) as part of the seat sharing deal for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, is staring at unrest even before it announces names of its candidates.

The party’s West Champaran district unit received a major jolt on Saturday after a large number of the party functionaries resigned in anticipation of the allocation of Valmikinagar parliamentary seat to the JD(U).

“As many as 15 mandal presidents, 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 NDA’s seat-sharing agreement, BJP and JD (U) would be contesting on 17 seats each while LJP will contest on six.

BJP’s sitting MP from Valmikinagar, Satish Chandra Dubey, had won the seat in 2014 by securing 40.44% votes. The seat was represented by JD(U)’s Baidyanath Mahto in 2009.

Speaking from New Delhi, Satish Dubey described the en masse resignations as the momentary emotional outburst. “I am an obedient worker of BJP and will abide by the directives of the party,” Dubey said.

Asked if he fancied his chances as a JD(U) nominee in an alternative arrangement, he said: “Being a dedicated party worker, it is up to the party and NDA to 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 NDA’s seat deal, BJP has decided to give five of the seats it won in 2014, Valmikinagar, Jhanjharpur, Gopalganj, Siwan and Gaya, to the JD (U).

The suspense over another prestigious seat, Darbhanga, which was represented by cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad, is also over with the BJP retaining the seat with itself.

On its part, JD (U) has also foregone its claim on two Patna seats, Patna Sahib and Patliputra.

In 2009, BJP and JD (U) contested together sharing 25-15 seats. While BJP won 12 out of 15 and JD (U) won 20, Kumar later broke the alliance in 2014 over Narendra Modi’s candidature as PM. Following this, both the parties contested separately in 2019.

The BJP won 22 seats on its own while its new ally, the LJP, won six out of the seven seats it contested and the RLSP won three out of four seats it contested.

The JD (U) was reduced to winning just two out of 40 seats.

First Published: Mar 17, 2019 02:40 IST