NDA to have a common manifesto for Bihar polls
According to people aware of the details there will be a common election manifesto released by the allies, the BJP, the JD (U) and the LJPUpdated: Sep 02, 2020, 12:55 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has indicated that there would not be a separate manifesto released by the party for the upcoming Bihar polls, which are slated to be held in October–November, following its assertion that the party would go the election under the leadership of the incumbent chief minister Nitish Kumar.
The BJP is an ally of Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), or JD (U), and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in the Bihar government, under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre.
According to people aware of the details there will be a common election manifesto released by the allies, the BJP, the JD (U) and the LJP.
A senior party leader aware of the developments said the party has made it clear that there are no differences of opinion among the allies and that the elections would be fought together under the leadership of Kumar. “So, a question of separate manifestoes does not arise,” the leader said.
Responding to LJP president Chirag Paswan’s demand for a common minimum programme (CMP), the leader said it was “not on the agenda as of now”.
In an interview to HT last week, Paswan had not only criticised the JD(U) for not fulfilling the promises that were made to the people of Bihar, but had also stressed that going forward, if the allies are to contest polls together and seek a second term in office, it would have to take on board suggestions of his party that would be part of his vision document.
Paswan had also said that he would release the vision document within 24 hours of the Election Commission of India (ECI) announcing the poll schedule.
The BJP leader quoted above said these issues would be sorted once all the allies hold talks.
He also ruled out that there is a possibility of the LJP walking away from the NDA ahead of the elections. After Paswan‘s frequent outbursts against the ruling alliance in the state and criticism of CM Kumar, the BJP leadership has been unequivocal in projecting a united front.
Addressing the state unit of the party on Sunday, BJP president JP Nadda said the party workers at every booth have the responsibility of ensuring the victory of party candidates as well as those of its allies in the poll-bound state.
He also said that whenever the BJP, the LJP and the JD (U) have come together to contest, they have swept the polls in Bihar.
On the issue of distribution of tickets, while the LJP has suggested that the exercise be conducted taking into account the performance of the parties in last year’s parliamentary elections, functionaries in both the BJP and the JD(U) suggested that winnability of a candidate would be the overarching consideration.
A JD (U) leader from Bihar said that in the last assembly election the LJP had won only two of the 42 seats that it had contested and the party is not in a position to bargain for more.
The BJP leader quoted above said discussions on seat and ticket distribution are yet to begin and the concerns of all the allies would be considered.