PATNA: The seat-sharing talks within the ruling JD-U-led NDA as well as the RJD-led ‘grand alliance’ in Bihar continued even on the first day of filing nominations on Thursday, indicating hard bargaining by alliance partners. Chirag Paswan has toughened his stand on the number of seats his LJP wants to contest, deepening the rift within the NDA.
The LJP has declared that if its demand for 42 seats is not met, the party would go it alone and field candidates in 143 constituencies out of the total 243 seats. Lead NDA partners, the JD-U and the BJP, had long meetings at the residences of Nitish Kumar and Sushil Kumar Modi, but the outcome was not known.
NDA sources said a split in the alliance appeared possible though efforts are being made prevent it.
“If the LJP breaks away, it will affect both BJP and JD-U”, said a senior NDA leader. “We are at our wits end insofar as the LJP is concerned. We want to clear up seat-sharing by Friday,” said another NDA leader.
Things are almost the same in the RJD-led ‘grand alliance’. RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has held several rounds of talks with Congress leaders at his residence. But no decision has yet been taken on the number of seats the alliance partners would contest.
The sources said that Congress has given a list of 75 seats to the RJD. Two days ago the RJD made it clear that it will give the Congress 58 assembly seats and the Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat which will witness by-poll on November 7. The Congress screening committee held a meeting in the national capital which was attended by party general secretary Avinash Pandey, Bihar unit president Madan Mohan Jha and CLP leader Sadanand Singh to discuss a way out.
91 sensitive segments
The Election Commission has identified 91 expenditure sensitive constituencies in 28 districts of Bihar. To monitor these districts, the poll panel has decided to depute two senior IAS officers in the eastern state.