A senior Bihar BJP leader Monday claimed that the party would field its candidates in all 22 seats it had registered a victory in the last general elections. Reacting to it, a senior Janata Dal (United) leader, whose party men have been insisting that it be acknowledged as the “big brother”, challenged the saffron party to “contest all 40 seats without the credible and acceptable face” of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
“BJP will field its candidates in all the seats which it had won in 2014. The party will also protect the interests of its allies and arrive at a seat-sharing arrangement which enables the NDA to win all the 40 seats in Bihar”, the party’s state general secretary Rajendra Singh told reporters in Sasaram, the district headquarters of Rohtas.
The BJP has 22 sitting MPs in the Lok Sabha from Bihar. Besides, NDA allies Lok Janshakti Party and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party have tallies of six and three respectively. The JD(U), headed by Kumar, had fought separately in 2014 and ended up with a dismal tally of only two seats.
The JDUs MLC and spokesman Sanjay Singh took exception to the BJP leader’s statement saying “issuing such types of statements, at a time when the NDA needs to stand united, will not benefit anybody”.
“That the JD(U) is the big brother in the NDA in Bihar, is a fact not our wish. Can the BJP pull off an electoral success in the state without the credible and acceptable face of Nitish Kumar? If it thinks it does, then let it fight all the 40 seats on its own,” Singh said.
Though Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has distanced himself from all claims made regarding seat sharing among NDA partners in the state, coalition leaders including those of his JD(U) keep venting their views in public signalling rumbling within the grouping.