Updated: December 30, 2019 4:05:17 pm
Amid differences with the Centre over the citizenship law and the outcome of the Jharkhand elections which left the saffron party disappointed, JD(U) leader Prashant Kishor asserted that his party should contest more seats than the BJP in the upcoming Bihar assembly election, scheduled to be held next year.
Allies JD(U) and BJP had contested 17 seats each in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Six seats were allotted to Ramvilas Paswan’s LJP.
Declaring that since the JD(U) is a bigger party, with a greater number of MLAs, Kishor said the seat sharing formula cannot be repeated. “If we look at the 2010 assembly polls, which the JD(U) and the BJP had last contested together, the ratio was 1:1.4. Even if there is a slight change this time, it cannot be that both parties fight an equal number of seats,” he told news agency PTI on Sunday.
Kishor also added that JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar will be the face of NDA and hence the seat-sharing formula of 50:50 cannot work. When asked whether Nitish Kumar was demanding for a greater share of seats in exchange for giving up his opposition to NRC, Kishor replied in the negative.
Best of Express Premium
The poll strategist-turned-politician also dismissed suggestions that his party chief Nitish Kumar might be expected to cede some ground to the BJP, a favour he had extended in the 2015 assembly polls for Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
“There can be no comparison between the two scenarios. In 2015, in the outgoing assembly, the JD(U) had about 120 MLAs while the RJD had only 20. But since the alliance was an entirely new experiment, many things were factored in. Moreover, even if the 2015 assembly polls are taken as benchmark this time, it is undeniable that JD(U)’s tally was significantly higher than that of the BJP. So my contention of a 1:1.4 ratio holds ground. I am not talking about the number of seats that each party could contest. I am talking about the proportion.”
Kishor’s demand for a lion share for JD(U) in Bihar has drawn sharp reactions from the BJP. “The BJP believes in maintaining decorum, discipline and not making any public statement which has only news value. All the decisions in NDA related to 2020 elections are a matter of discussion between our top leadership,” state party spokesman Nikhil Anand said.
The BJP claimed the seat share would remain 50:50 as it was in the Lok Sabha election.
Before this, Kishor had openly spoken against the citizenship law and the proposal for a nationwide NRC. He had also reportedly offered to resign from the party after JD(U) extended its support to the legislation in Parliament.
🗞 Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.