The BJP’s decision to part with 13 of the seats it had contested in 2014 Lok Sabha elections to accommodate its old alliance partner, the JD (U), has taken a toll on party’s vote share in recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. The BJP, JD (U) and the LJP fought the 2019 elections on 17-17-6 formula. While the BJP and the LJP were able to achieve 100% strike rate by winning all seats, the JD (U) massively improved its 2014 performance by taking its tally from two to 16.In terms of vote percentage, the BJP garnered 23.58% of the total votes polled, which is lower than 29.40% it got in 2014 polls. “When you compare this with 2014 performance, you will have to take into account also that the BJP had contested on 30 out of the 40 seats in 2014. The less number of seats is bound to take down the vote share,” said BJP’s state vice-president, Devesh Kumar.In the 2014 general elections, JD (U) had contested alone and won only two seats, while the BJP, which contested in alliance with RLSP and LJP, had won 22 seats. The LJP had won six seats and RLSP three. In 2019, the BJP agreed to sacrifice five of the seats it had won in 2014 to accommodate the JD (U) as an equal partner. The LJP bargained hard but agreed to part with one out of the seven seats it had contested last time.Overall, the NDA recorded a vote share of 53.25% in 2019. This is the best performance by any political formation in the state in many decades. “The voting percentage may seem to have come down but the fact is that three of the BJP candidates won by over 4 lakh votes, two by more than three lakh votes, six candidates by more than 2 lakh votes and four candidates by more than a lakh votes,” said Devesh Kumar.The JD (U) saw its vote share increase to 21.8% this time from 16.04 % in 2014, when it had contested on all 40 seats alone. The vote share of LJP, which also won all its six seats, also increased to 7.88% from 6.40% in 2014. “The increase in our vote share and tally was mainly due to the benefits that accrued from the natural alliance with the BJP, which allowed voters to vote with confidence for the alliance. Chief minister’s Nitish Kumar image as a man of development coupled with PM Modi’s work provided positive results for the party,” said JD (U) spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan.