NEW DELHI: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will have to be content playing second fiddle to the BJP. The latter is in no mood to revert to its old seat-sharing formula with the JD(U). Earlier, the JD(U) had been the senior partner of the alliance in the Lok Sabha and the state Assembly polls. But now with Prime Minister Narendra Modi emerging as a taller leader, a new formula will be worked out, sources said.
“The earlier formula is now irrelevant. The BJP had been a junior partner then. Now, Modi has changed the political script of the country. Before we head to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the seat adjustment on a new formula will be agreed on by the two parties,” said a BJP national general secretary. “The BJP will negotiate seat adjustments on the basis of the strength acquired in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. We can very well adopt the Tamil Nadu model employed by the Congress and Dravidian parties. We may contest more number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, while the JD(U) could be the senior alliance partner for the 2020 state Assembly polls.”
The BJP-led NDA had swept the 2014 Lok Sabha elections winning 31 of the 40 constituencies. The BJP had bagged 22 seats. The saffron outfit leaders claim that since the Lok Jan Shakti Party and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party are NDA allies, the space for JD(U) would be further squeezed. With the BJP setting its sights on winning 350-plus seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the saffron outfit will hardly leave any breathing space for its alliance partners.