Though reports of finalisation of 20-20 seat sharing arrangement for Lok Sabha in Bihar NDA is now denied by all stake holders i.e. BJP, JDU, LJP and RLSP yet, observers are of the view that it may be one of the many formulas that has been put on the table for discussion. According to 20-20 deal half of the forty seats will be contested by BJP and rest will be distributed among its three partners: JDU- 12, LJP- 6, RLSP-2.
One observer pointed out that the formula is not totally out of place considering the present strength of the respective parties. “In spite of JDU and RLSP initial strong reactions, there is very narrow possibility that the two parties could bargain much in the present circumstances”, he added.
Notwithstanding the JDU's diminishing fortune, the party out rightly rejected the seat sharing formula. K. C. Tayagi said that any such deal is unacceptable to the party. While one other senior JDU leader speaking to Bihar Times rubbished the reports and said that JDU will not agree to anything short of 16 seats. He went on to add that a state BJP leader has planted this story to raise his stocks within the party.
Interestingly, a day after the 20-20 seat sharing arrangement reports started doing rounds a section of media highlighted the story that JDU leadership is so upset that it’s thinking in terms of fighting Lok Sabha election alone.
On the other hand, speaking on the occasion of centenary celebration of B.P. Mandal in Patna RLSP boss Upendra Kushwaha has clearly hinted that he is about to switch over to Grand Alliance through his widely discussed 'kheer' remark: which he explained that the Milk of Yaduvanshi and Rice of Kushwanshi will make a delicious sweet dish.
However, he soon backed off and gave another spin to the 'kheer' which suggested that he is exploring an independent course. "It is not that kheer regarding which you formed your opinions few days ago. This kheer means people from all communities and castes. Kheer would be prepared from the milk of Yaduwanshi, rice from Kushwansi, sugar from Brahmins, panchmeva from EBCs, tulsi from the house of Dalits to make it pious and dastarkhan from the homes of Muslims which does not differentiate between the poor and rich and accords equal importance to everyone" Kushwaha said.
Perhaps, Kushwaha is in doldrums, considering that chances of NDA returning to power may have thinned but it isn’t completely out of race and, in case, NDA wins he will lose ministerial birth in central cabinet.
However, a source within RLSP confirmed to Bihar Times that the negotiations with Grand Alliance in its final stage. It’s just a matter of time that the announcement of switch over is made.
Meanwhile a JDU leader on the condition of anonymity reveal that they refuse to react on the repeated provocations from RLSP leaders as the party sees into it a ploy to alienate Koiri voters from Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. One political observer pointed out that BJP is not bothered about the frictions between JDU and RLSP. On the contrary, it’s in the larger interest of the saffron party to keep the pot boiling in the non BJP NDA, he added.