Amid NDA battle for seats, BJP declares list of poll in-charges for LS constituencies in Bihar

Amid NDA battle for seats, BJP declares list of poll in-charges for LS constituencies in Bihar

PATNA: The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced the list of poll in-charges for Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar for “better poll preparations” for next year’s parliamentary elections, fuelling speculations in the political circles.

The names of constituency in-charges were announced by party’s organizational sectary Nagendra Nath at a meeting of the BJP held yesterday.

So far, the in-charges of 38 LS seats out of Bihar’s total 40 have been announced, dropping ample hints that the BJP is making poll preparations for all parliamentary seats in the state.

The remaining two seats for which the BJP is yet to declare its in-charge include Ujiarpur and Patna Sahib represented by state party president Nityanand Rai and Shatrughan Sinha.

At the moment, the BJP has three allies, such as the Janata Dal United (JD-U), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) from Bihar.

Of them, both the JD-U and RLSP have been caught in bitter political rivalry, asking the BJP to declare their respective party leaders as “chief ministerial” faces for Bihar.

JD-U is led by chief minister Nitish Kumar whereas as the RLSP is headed by federal minister Upendra Kushwaha.

The announcement of names of constituency’s in-charges by the BJP assumes much significance in the light of ongoing tussle in the NDA over seat-sharing.

The JD-U led by chief minister Kumar has staked claims for contesting 25 LS seats out of 40 while reminding the BJP of 2009 arrangement when the BJP-JD-U had contested on 25:15 seats.

At least, three senior JD-U leaders, party general secretary, KC Tyagi, and spokespersons Shyam Rajak and Ajay Alok have gone on record saying the JD-U wouldn’t settle for less than 25 seats, drawing strong protests from two NDA’s allies, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) led by Ram Vilas Paswan and the RLSP led by Kushwaha, both ministers in the Narendra Modi government.

The bitterness has touched to such a level that Kushwaha stayed away from NDA feast held in the weekend and also ignored the Iftar Party hosted by BJP leader and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.

The RLSP even asked the BJP to declare Kushwaha as a chief ministerial candidate in place of JD-U’s Kumar claiming he enjoys more vote share than the latter.

The RLSP’s other claim was that the party had more LS members than the JD-U’s. The RLSP had won all the three seats it had contested in the last LS polls against two seats won by the JD-U although it contested all 40 seats.

Not only its allies, the BJP too is said to be annoyed over JD-U’s bid to stake claims for lion’s share of seats and has kept all its options open. Party insiders said the BJP is no mood to agree to the demand of the JD-U and is making poll preparations for all LS seats.

In the last 2014 LS polls, the NDA had emerged victorious on 31 seats out of state’s total 40. The BJP alone had won 22 seats out 30 it had contested. LJP had won six seats out of seven whereas the RLSP has won three out of three.

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