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Ahead of Bihar Assembly polls, BJP's Bhupendra Yadav calls on CM Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday met BJP national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav at his official residence.

Published: 02nd July 2020 12:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd July 2020 12:05 AM   |  A+A-

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday met BJP national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav at his official residence here, a development that assumes significance in the backdrop of the state assembly polls being around the corner.

According to BJP sources, the meeting was "confidential" though Yadav had indicated before leaving for 1, Anney Marg that he would broach the issue of sharing of seats among all NDA partners in the upcoming elections.

Nitish Kumar heads the JD(U), an NDA constituent.

Notably, Yadav is on a Bihar tour that is likely to span over 10 days.

Earlier, he had met Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) national president Chirag Paswan at the latter's Delhi residence on Saturday last.

The BJP leader is understood to have assured the LJP chief that his party, the smallest coalition partner in the state, will get a fair deal in the Vidhan Sabha polls.

"The LJP has also expressed the desire to have greater representation in the state legislative council, where it has one MLC,” sources said, adding the BJP may accommodate Paswan's party when seats against which members are to be nominated, are filled up.

The party had two MLCs the previous year, though one of them, LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan's brother Pashupati Kumar Paras got elected to the Lok Sabha last year.

Altogether, 12 such seats are at present vacant and, the BJP sources said, "We wish to persuade the Janata Dal (United) to agree to a formula in which both parties get an equal share of the pie.

"The party cadres had, similarly, urged Yadav to clinch a deal for the assembly polls in which the BJP and JD(U) contest an equal number of seats after setting aside a certain number for the LJP," sources said.

Bihar has a 243-member legislative assembly.

The BJP sources agreed that it was a contentious issue since Kumar has got the nod from Union Home Minister Amit Shah for heading the NDA charge in the assembly polls.

The JD(U) is said to be wary of such a formula as it suspects that if the BJP ends up winning a greater number of seats, it may renege on the promise made by Shah and insist on having its own chief minister.

However, the BJP sources insisted that the demand for an equal share in the assembly polls has stemmed from the "sacrifice" it made in the general elections last year.

"We had won 22 seats in the 2014 elections. The LJP was with us back then and the JD(U) was contesting independently. Nonetheless, when we fought together in 2019, we agreed to contest 17 seats, giving as many to the JD(U). Party cadres do not want the leadership to be seen as yielding too much to the JD(U)," they said.

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