With Bihar’s ruling alliance eligible for 12 nominated MLC seats, a tussle has broken out among its constituents over their distribution. The JD(U), miffed by a string of statements by ally LJP against the state government, wants to push it out of contention for the seats, and, instead, divvy them up with the BJP.
Now, pushed into a corner, LJP has been showing signs of uneasiness in the alliance. And, with the Congress making strong overtures to the Chirag Paswan-led party ahead of the Assembly polls, all eyes are now on the BJP’s handling of the situation.
The JD(U) had started snubbing LJP after Paswan, an MP from Jamui, criticised Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over a “governance deficit”. Earlier, his father, Ram Vilas Paswan—a Union minister for food and public distribution—had pulled up the Bihar governnment on PDS quota.
“There had been two cabinet meetings recently over the 12 MLC seats, but no call could be taken with BJP not yet decided on leaving out LJP. Many BJP leaders believe LJP should get at least one seat against its demand of two. But JD(U) does not look keen to give anything to the Paswans to send a message,” said a BJP source.
A JD(U) leader said the younger Paswan had been “crossing limits by engaging in constant criticism” of the government. “He has yet not proved his worth and is still under his father’s shadow,” said the leader.
Sources say JD(U) has been trying to frustrate LJP before seat-sharing talks. The party is trying to contest more seats than BJP, which, in turn, wants to fight an equal number of seats on the basis of the 2019 LS formula. LJP too is vying for a share, leading to posturing by all three parties.
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