Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, has recently allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. However, uncertainties loom over the allocation of seats within the NDA, particularly regarding whether Nitish Kumar will secure 17 seats in the alliance. The demand for 17 seats by the Janata Dal United (JDU), which is a part of the NDA, had been ongoing, but no agreement had been reached. Amidst this, Nitish Kumar has made a shift in his stance, yet uncertainties persist within the NDA.
Meeting with Key Figures in Delhi
Nitish Kumar is scheduled to visit Delhi today (February 7), where he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Additionally, he will hold discussions with senior BJP leaders Amit Shah and JP Nadda. Just two days ago, central leadership of the BJP had convened a meeting in Delhi with Bihar’s Deputy Chief Ministers, Sushil Modi and Tarkishore Prasad. This has sparked discussions regarding whether there’s a deadlock over seat allocations for the 2024 elections.
Recap of 2019 Elections
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the JD(U)-BJP alliance and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) had contested together. They fielded candidates on 17 seats each, while LJP contested on 6 seats. Despite JD(U) facing defeat on one seat, BJP emerged victorious on all 17 seats it contested, along with LJP securing wins on its 6 seats.
Changing Dynamics for 2024
The dynamics seem to be shifting for the 2024 elections as Ram Manjhi and Upendra Kushwaha have also joined the NDA this time. Moreover, the Lok Janshakti Party is divided into two factions, one led by Pashupati Paras and the other by Chirag Paswan. In this scenario, with BJP and JD(U) contesting on 17 seats each as in 2019, how will the distribution of seats among the 6 constituencies be decided? How many seats will be allocated to Chirag Paswan, Pashupati Paras, Ram Manjhi, and Upendra Kushwaha? Will Chirag Paswan, who has already demanded 6 seats, agree to the final allocation?
Speculations and Negotiations
Numerous questions arise, and speculations suggest ongoing deliberations within the NDA regarding seat sharing. According to sources, the central government has also intervened to reduce JD(U)’s share of seats in Bihar. It has been suggested that JD(U) might be allocated 11 to 12 seats. On the other hand, Chirag Paswan shows no signs of backing down. If Chirag Paswan indeed secures 6 seats, what will be the course of action for the remaining contenders? What will be the next scenario?
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