The JD(U) wants the results of the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls, in which it had fared much better than the BJP, to be a key factor while deciding how many seats each of the four NDA parties in the state will get to contest in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
In the Assembly election, the JD(U) had won 71 of the 243 seats, while the BJP had emerged victorious in 53 seats and the LJP and RLSP in two each.
The JD(U) was then an ally of the RJD and the Congress before it dumped them last year to rejoin the NDA.
A BJP leader described the JD(U)’s argument as “unrealistic” and the “usual political tactics” deployed by different parties ahead of elections.
Claiming, that the JD(U) had benefited in the 2015 polls due to its alliance with the Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the real strength of the Nitish Kumar-led party could be gauged from its 2014 Lok Sabha poll performance, when it had fought alone and won only two of the 40 seats, while its candidates lost their deposit in a majority of seats.
When the JD(U) was a BJP ally till 2013, it was the undisputed senior coalition partner in the state and would contest a number of Lok Sabha as well as Assembly seats. In Lok Sabha polls, the JD(U) would field candidates in 25 seats and the BJP 15.
However, the BJP’s sweep in 2014 has changed the equation and the entry of more parties into the NDA means old equations are no longer relevant.
Previously, Janata Dal (United) National General Secretary Shyam Rajak had said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance must do justice to his party in allocating seats for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Bihar. Rajak said the Janata Dal (United) expected that the BJP would allow it to contest on 25 of the 40 seats in the state.
Sources, however, hint that all is well between Nitish and PM Modi. One of the sources state, “Raising issues in the interest of the state shouldn’t be seen as JD(U) being against the BJP.