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Nitish Kumar Ready To Go It Alone In Bihar, Party Insists It's BJP's Loss

  PATNA:The BJP has begun testing the waters on seat-sharing with allies in Bihar ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections, claiming earlier this week that it had worked out a deal that was fair to all while ensuring the NDA alliance wins every seat it can in a crucial battleground state.

Under the proposed formula, the BJP will contest 20 of Bihar's 40 Lok Sabha seats and its main ally, Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United (JD-U) will have just 12, while Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) will fight on six seats - the same number it won in 2014 - and Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), two.

JD-U leader KC Tyagi denies anything has been finalised. "The talks are still on, so where have these figures come from? Besides, they are totally unacceptable to us," he said.

The BJP's by-poll defeats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, followed by its failure to form a government in Karnataka, have encouraged the JD-U to raise its stakes and go for a larger share of the 40-seat pie.

Nitish Kumar Ready To Go It Alone In Bihar, Party Insists It's BJP's Loss
The BJP and Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United face a tough test of their relationship in the seat-sharing formula for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
All India | Written by Shikha Trivedy | Updated: September 01, 2018 01:51 IST

The BJP has begun testing the waters on seat-sharing with allies in Bihar ahead of the 2019 parliamentary elections, claiming earlier this week that it had worked out a deal that was fair to all while ensuring the NDA alliance wins every seat it can in a crucial battleground state.

Under the proposed formula, the BJP will contest 20 of Bihar's 40 Lok Sabha seats and its main ally, Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United (JD-U) will have just 12, while Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) will fight on six seats - the same number it won in 2014 - and Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), two.

JD-U leader KC Tyagi denies anything has been finalised. "The talks are still on, so where have these figures come from? Besides, they are totally unacceptable to us," he said.

The BJP's by-poll defeats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, followed by its failure to form a government in Karnataka, have encouraged the JD-U to raise its stakes and go for a larger share of the 40-seat pie.
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Ahead of its national executive meeting in July, KC Tyagi had even claimed that the "JD-U will be a big brother in seat-sharing for 2019 polls in Bihar".

A senior JD-U leader told NDTV that of the 40 seats, the party wants 16, leaving 16 for the BJP, while the remaining eight seats will be for a mix of old NDA allies and new entrants - six for Ram Vilas Paswan, one for former RJD lawmaker Pappu Yadav and one for a rebel lawmaker from Upendra Kushwaha's party.

The JD-U's seat-sharing formula leaves out Upendra Kushwaha, an NDA ally whose party had won three seats in the 2014 polls.

Interestingly, the formula was reportedly drawn up over a month ago, yet it was only this week that Upendra Kushwaha, for the first time, publicly hinted that he could cross over to the rival alliance - with the remark that "tasty 'kheer' can be prepared if the milk from the Yaduvanshis (Yadav community) and rice from Kushwanshis (Kushwaha community) is mixed together." Kushwaha has since backtracked, but JD-U leaders remain unconvinced.
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