PATNA: With seat-sharing talks for NDA in Bihar currently continuing between BJP and JD(U), Union minister Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP is feeling uneasy about reports that it may be allotted only two seats to contest in next year's Lok Sabha polls.
RLSP state president Nagmani on Saturday said formal seat-sharing talks among Bihar's four NDA partners - BJP, JD(U), LJP and RLSP - are yet to begin and that there was no authenticity in claims made by leaders of some parties about the allotment of seats. He rejected talks about his party getting two seats to contest.
"Nitish Kumar and JD(U) have a small social support base of 1.5 per cent whereas we (RLSP) have a 10 per cent social support base. But it is strange that they (BJP) are making JD(U) fly in the sky and seem to be ignoring us," he said.
Asserting that RLSP would not tolerate any "act of deliberate insult" from BJP, Nagmani added: "If such acts continue, it would mean they are pushing us to the brink, towards the exit. It would mean they are forcing us to shift to the Grand Alliance".
JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok reacted sharply to Nagmani's statement about JD(U)'s social base.
"What JD(U) has achieved as a political party and as the ruling party is for everyone to see and shower praises on. We do not pay attention to mindless statements issued by some leaders," he said.
After JD(U) leaders, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, claimed recently that the party has been assured of a "respectable number of seats" by BJP, RLSP national general secretary Madhaw Anand had on Friday accused JD(U) of creating confusion among NDA partners on the issue.
RLSP, which had contested on three of Bihar's 40 Lok Sabha seats as part of NDA in the 2014 polls and won all the three, is reportedly seeking at least six seats this time. But reports emerging from recent informal talks held between BJP national president Amit Shah and JD(U) strategist Prashant Kishore indicate that RLSP may not be given more than two seats to contest in 2019.
Meanwhile, RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwary claimed that RLSP would switch sides and join the Grand Alliance soon.
"It is in the works for some time. It may happen anytime soon," he said.