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Nitish Kumar No Longer the Big Brother in Bihar: The Biggest Takeaway from NDA’s Bihar Seat-Sharing Pact – News18


The BJP-JDU dynamic has changed in the last five years with an ageing Nitish Kumar’s alliance flip-flops eroding public trust. (X/@Jduonline/File)

Lok Sabha elections 2024: The BJP is contesting on 17 seats and the JD-U on 16. It’s a difference of just one seat between the blow-hot-blow-cold allies. But it’s enough to convey who is calling the shots in Bihar. In the 2019 elections, both BJP and JD-U parties had contested on 17 seats apiece

The seat-sharing formula among NDA constituents for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections has made one thing painfully clear – Nitish Kumar’s JD-U is no longer the big brother in the eastern state.

As per the seat-sharing pact announced by BJP national general secretary Vinod Tawde on Monday, the saffron party would contest on 17 seats, the JD-U on 16, and Chirag Paswan’s LJP (Ram Vilas) will contest on five. Two other NDA allies — Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Morcha — will contest one seat each. Bihar sends a total of 40 MPs to the Lok Sabha.

Lok Sabha elections in Bihar will be held in seven phases. Four seats will go to the polls on April 19, five each on April 26, May 7, May 13 and May 20, and eight each on May 25 and June 1. The counting of votes will be held on June 4, 2024.

Change in Pecking Order

It’s a difference of just one seat between the BJP and the JD-U. And it’s enough to convey who is calling the shots in Bihar. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, both parties had contested on 17 seats apiece. Even in the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections, Nitish Kumar had managed to maintain the tilt towards his party, contesting on 115 seats and leaving 110 for the BJP.

However, the dynamic has changed in the last five years with an ageing Nitish Kumar’s alliance flip-flops eroding public trust.

The seat-sharing details were announced at the BJP’s Delhi headquarters, with Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Samrat Choudhary on the stage. The BJP young gun had feverishly upped the ante against Nitish Kumar during his alliance with the RJD.

Chirag’s Big Comeback With Hajipur

Another key takeaway has been Chirag Paswan’s big comeback with the Hajipur seat, which had been the bone of contention between him and his uncle Pashupati Paras. The two split the LJP — a party founded by Ram Vilas Paswan and fought on six seats each in the 2019 elections.

Following Paswan Senior’s death in 2020, Bihar NDA was all about four parties — BJP, JD-U, HAM and Vikassheel Insaan Party. Chirag Paswan’s LJP was forced to exit after his continuous attacks on Nitish Kumar.

Much seems to have changed ever since in one NDA meeting in July 2023 where Chirag Paswan was invited and was given a warm hug by PM Narendra Modi.

Paswan Junior is not only back, but is back with a bang by winning the prestige battle against his uncle, who is sitting MP from Hajipur. Chirag, too, wanted the seat as it was once held by his father Ram Vilas Paswan.

End of the Road for Minister-Uncle?

Pashupati Paras, Chirag’s uncle and also the President of the Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party (RLJP), has been left out in the cold. Though he is still the Union Minister of Food Processing Industries, with no seats allotted in the alliance, he stares at an uncertain future.

BJP sources say two proposals have been made to Paras — either accept a Rajya Sabha seat or exit politics for good and be elevated to a Governor’s post. It is not known yet whether Paras has made his choice.

“Talks are going on,” said Deputy CM Samrat Chowdhury when asked about Paras’s future in the alliance.



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