The JD(U) and BJP have been treading cautiously on seat-sharing amid aggressive posturing by the LJP.
JD(U) sources told The Indian Express that the party had been pressing its claim to contest 115 seats. “In 2010, there was just JD(U) and BJP, hence we did not have many issues over seat-sharing. We were part of the Grand Alliance in 2015 Assembly polls and contested 101 seats. Now that we are again part of the NDA and the senior partner, we are pressing for 115 seats. Let the BJP accommodate LJP and we will take care of Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) from our share,” said a JD(U) source.
At present, JD(U) has 71 MLAs and BJP has 53 legislators. In the 2010 Assembly elections, the JD(U) and BJP had contested on 141 and 102 seats, respectively.
A BJP leader said: “Seat-sharing talks have been going in Delhi between top leaders of BJP and JD(U). It is difficult to say anything now about the numbers of seats. By conventional logic, we should contest as equal partners as we did in the last Lok Sabha polls. Our party had shown a large heart during the Lok Sabha polls by denying tickets to five sitting MPs and giving JD(U) equal seats (17 each) to contest. It is now the JD(U)’s turn to return the favour.”
He said the BJP’s central leadership had been also in touch with the LJP to resolve seat-sharing issues.
Admitting to hitches over some seats between the BJP and JD(U), the leader said: “We want some of their sitting seats and JD(U) wants some of ours. A lot also depends on the number of seats RJD will contest. The seat-sharing could be announced sometime in October.”
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