Bigger parties to play bigger role

From The Editor’s Desk

Qamar Farooqui

Patna: Smaller parties more often than not are known to have good share in seat-searing negations in local elections. They expect big parties to play “bigger role” by giving up claims on seats. This is what is happening in Bihar where the two main collations, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and Grand Alliance.

There are several glitches and hitches in both the coalition groups on seat-sharing. While in the Grand Alliance, the RJD’s biggest challenge is to keep its flock together, BJP is facing difficult situation seat distribution among its allies. Under 50-50 formula, the two main parties, the BJP and the JD(U), will accommodate the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Jatin Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) from their respective quota of seats.

The LJP, which has currently two seats in the assembly, demands more than three dozen seats. The party argues that it won six parliamentary seats, so it should be given at least 36 seats. Unlike the BJP, the JD-U has relatively ‘flexible’ to deal with. The party sources said that it would given not more than three-four seats to the HAM-S. In this respect, it is believed that the NDA will make 2010 assembly elections results as the basis for contesting the 2020 polls.

On the other hand, the RJD has to deal with the Congress, former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP). While the Congress party has given “ultimatum” to the RJD for reaching a consensus on seat-sharing, the RLSP has demanded “change of face” for chief ministerial candidate. Speculations are also rife that the RLSP and VIP may join the NDA if their “concerns” are not heard.

The Congress party, which has currently strength of 25 MLAs, has been demanding “respectable” number of seats. This could obviously go between 50 and 60. Nevertheless, RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav made it clear that his party was capable of contesting all 243 seats of the state assembly. It is to be seen how the NDA and Grand Alliance manage their smaller allies. Much depend on the three leading parties, RJD, JD-U and BJP.

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