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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Bihar elections: BJP stresses NDA unity; call on seats soon

The announcement came on a day party president J P Nadda is holding talks with state BJP leaders here to discuss the three-phase polls to the 243-member state assembly, including seat-sharing arrangements with allies like the JD(U) and the LJP.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: October 1, 2020 1:45:50 am
maharashtra coronavirus latest updates, maharashtra covid testing, maharashtra covid cases, uddhav thackeray, devendra fadnavisFadnavis said during an interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thackeray had assured that his government would increase the tests to 1.5 lakh. (File)

Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis has been made election in-charge for the BJP in Bihar. Fadnavis and general secretary in-charge Bhupender Yadav will lead the BJP’s electioneering process in the state ahead of the October-November elections.

Announcing Fadnavis’s appointment, Yadav said the party will soon take a call on seat division, which has become a contentious issue with Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party putting pressure on the BJP over its share of seats. “We will soon talk to the LJP and JD(U),” he said.

Yadav and Fadnavis had worked together for the Maharashtra elections, and party leaders said the leadership wanted the duo to work together. Fadnavis, who reportedly enjoys the confidence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was roped in by the party for Bihar after the BJP decided to make the Sushant Singh Rajput death case an issue in the state elections. Fadnavis has attended the Bihar BJP core committee meetings in which the poll strategy was discussed.

Over the past few weeks, Fadnavis has been participating in the party’s internal meetings on Bihar polls and even visited the state a few times. His position was made official on Wednesday evening after BJP chief J P Nadda held talks with leaders of the party’s Bihar unit.

After a meeting of BJP leaders, including Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah besides leaders from Bihar, Yadav told reporters that talks with allies on seat-sharing will be completed in a couple of days.

“A lot of development work has happened in Bihar and the NDA will fight the polls on the basis of this under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The BJP, JD(U) and the LJP will fight the polls strongly along with Jitan Ram Manjhi, who has joined hands with JD(U), and will form government again with a three/fourth majority,” he said.

LJP’s Chirag Paswan has been demanding 30-plus seats in Bihar, and is under pressure from his party to go it alone and contest 143 seats in the 243-member Assembly. Sources said the BJP wants to fight the same number of seats as the JD(U), and the party has suggested that it would field candidates in at least 110 constituencies. However, the JD(U), the bigger partner in the alliance so far, reportedly wants to contest at least one seat more than the BJP to retain its supremacy in the coalition.

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