PATNA: Amid continuing speculations over the fate of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar, Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit Shah today said his party alliance with the Janata Dal United (JD-U) was intact and would make a clean sweep in the next 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
“Those expecting a fight between us (BJP and JD-U) must know that we are here to win all the 40 LS seats in Bihar. We know how to deal with our allies,” Shah told a meeting of his party workers in Patna on Thursday, setting at rest the speculations of split in the NDA.
The announcement came shortly after Shah had met chief minister Nitish Kumar in the morning over breakfast. He will also join the dinner hosted by the chief minister at his residence in the evening at which both leaders are scheduled to discuss the thorny issue of seat-sharing which has become a bone of contention between the two parties.
The JD-U headed by Kumar has staked claim for lion’s share of LS seats in Bihar, describing itself as the “Big Brother” on the ground of wining more seats than the BJP in the assembly elections held in 2015. The BJP on the other hand wants that the seat-sharing should be done on the basis of the last 2014 LS polls when the NDA had emerged victorious on 31 seats out of Bihar’s total 40 seats.
The BJP alone had won 22 seats while its two allies, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) had bagged six and three seats respectively. In sharp contrast to them, the JD-U which was not a part of the NDA then had won only two seats yet it wants more seats to contest in the next LS polls, leading to tension between the two allies which came together only last year.
Given this background, the meeting of the chief minister with Shah assumes much significance. Informed sources said the both the leaders are expected to discuss the seat-sharing issue in details to remove any glitches between them and get ready for the next elections before it’s too late.
Just before the visit of Shah, leaders from both parties were indulged in bitters war of words but keeping in view the seriousness of the situation, both the parties issued orders to their spokespersons, warning them against speaking anything against each other in public.
The overall situation at one point of time had reached to such a level that the JD-U had reportedly opened channels with the opposition Grand Alliance, especially with the Congress, to jump the NDA boat but the RJD headed by Lalu Prasad announced the door of the Grand Alliance had been shut on Kumar, prompting the latter to search his future with the NDA.