Seat sharing talks: Has BJP made tactical retreat?

Shams Khan

Dinners have become break or make factor in the alliance between JDU and the BJP. The cancellation of one such dinner on June 12, 2010 had its impact three years later when on June 16, 2013 Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s party snapped ties after 17 long years of relationship. While, if NDA sources are to be believed, the dinner of July 12, 2018, will strengthen the tie between the two.

After coming out of the breakfast meeting with Amit Shah and other BJP senior functionaries, Nitish Kumar beaming face indicated that the talk went his way. Amit Shah, later on the day, claimed that BJP-JDU alliance is unbreakable and we will jointly win all 40 seats.

Media report suggests that the BJP has made tactical retreat and had agreed to be liberal on seat adjustment with JDU in coming parliamentary election.. This will be a symbolic gesture to JDU as the party was adamant to play a ‘Big Brother’ role in the state.

Given both the allies are on the downward trajectory, the interdependence on each other has grown quite a bit. Thus, despite the decibel matching from leaders of the both sides on who will be the ‘Big Brother’ and who will fight more seats in upcoming Lok Sabha election¸ striking a compromise appeared to be primary motive of breakfast and dinner meetings between head of the BJP and JDU on 12th July.  

The BJP is on shaky ground after defeat in recent by polls and Karnataka assembly election. Moreover, BJP would not want Bihar Chief Ministerial chair on the cost of losing 10-15 Lok Sabha seats. Rather, they would be perfectly comfortable sitting in the centre and pilot the state through Nitish. 

On the other hand, JDU feel comfortable in alliance with BJP as the latter lacks numerical superiority in state assembly as well as BJP does not have leaders of the stature of CM Nitish Kumar. According to a political observer who wished not to be quoted, Nitish always feels overshadowed by Lalu Prasad Yadav. 

More so, RJD and Congress strong posturing against suggestions of JDU comeback in grand alliance, Nitish Kumar party has left with fewer options.

Though the Day ended with a dinner having immense political importance, it was Amit Shah who invited Nitish to state guest house for the breakfast. This prompted RJD leader Shivanand Tiwary to comment that Amit Shah has scored over Nitish by inviting him 'to his darbar and showed him his place.'



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