December 3, 2023

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Smaller players in Bihar waiting for bigger parties to finalise seats

Patna, : With just weeks left for polling in Bihar, there is no clarity over seat-sharing in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) or the Grand Alliance, yet.

With both the larger party groupings not prepared to divulge their plans, smaller parties in the state such as the LJP and HAM are also reluctant to spell out the terms of engagement.

Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) president Upendra Kushwaha on Monday said at Patna airport that he has had no conversation with CM Nitish Kumar despite a strong buzz about him joining the NDA.

“People are spreading rumours about my meeting Nitish Kumar. I was in Delhi when rumours were spreads in Bihar. How could I met the CM as he is in Patna and I was in Delhi? I’ve not met him or any other NDA leader yet,” Kushwaha said.

Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) president Jitan Ram Manjhi is also keeping his cards close to his chest.

“We are waiting for finalisation of tickets between the JDU and the BJP. Only then can we put our demands before them,” Manjhi said.

Sources say NDA leaders are feeling the anti-incumbency factor after 15 years. Hence they want to accumulate as many political parties as they can in their camp.

The HAM has already shifted from the Grand alliance to the NDA and the RLSP may follow suit.

NDA leaders are also making efforts to keep the LJP intact in the NDA despite Chirag Paswan turning into a big critic of CM Nitish Kumar.

Sources say the JDU may contest on 100 to 110 assembly seats and the BJP between 100 and 105. The remaining seats will be distributed between the LJP, the HAM and the RLSP in case it comes into the NDA fold.

The situation in the Grand Alliance is slightly different with the RJD expected to play the role of an elder brother in Bihar and the Congress its younger sibling.

The RJD is expected to contest on 175 to 190 seats and the remaining seats will be earmarked for the Congress and other constituents of the Grand Alliance.

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