While NDA constituents like the JD(U), LJP and RLSP have their fingers crossed over seat-sharing with the BJP in Bihar for Lok Sabha polls, RLSP president and Minister of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha on Thursday met BJP general secretary and Bihar state in-charge in Delhi for discussion on an alliance in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh. Sources said that Kushwaha wants around 30 Assembly seats to contest in alliance with the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, where the party will be in the fray for the first time. Sources said the RLSP wants seats near the Uttar Pradesh border, where OBC voters including Kushwaha and Maurya have an influential presence. According to sources, Kushwaha also discussed seat-sharing for Lok Sabha polls in Bihar, but did not get any convincing assurance from the BJP. Kushwaha may meet senior BJP leaders again next week on this issue, sources said.
When the central election committee of the BJP meets on Saturday to finalise candidates, Chhattisgarh is expected to be first on the list — the Congress has already announced candidates for 12 seats in the state. But unlike other poll-bound states, there won’t be any Union minister present at the meeting as in-charge of the state election. Shah had, earlier this month, announced Union ministers J P Nadda, Prakash Javadekar and Dharmendra Pradhan as the party’s election in-charges for Telangana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, respectively, but left out Chhattisgarh. It seems that both Chief Minister Raman Singh and state unit president along with Dharamlal Kaushik, assisted by joint general secretary (Organisation) Saudan Singh, will have to finalise the list from the state.
While Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be celebrating Dussehra in Bikaner with BSF personnel, his two deputies in the home ministry will also be at the border. While MoS Hansraj Ahir will be in Jammu and Kashmir, celebrating with the BSF, MoS Kiren Rijiju, MP from the border state of Arunachal Pradesh, is in his constituency. He is likely to be back later this week.