Janata Dal (United) National General Secretary Shyam Rajak on Thursday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance must do justice to his party in allocating seats for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Bihar. Rajak said the Janata Dal (United) expected that the BJP would allow it to contest on 25 of the 40 seats in the state.
He said there was no question of settling for fewer seats. “[Bihar Chief Minister] Nitish Kumar and JD(U) are playing a major role in Bihar,” he told ANI.
Rajak said the Janata Dal (United) agreed with the NDA on grounds of ideology and policies, but the party was not given the priority that it deserves. “...We’ll not be lying if we say that injustice has been done to us,” he told ANI. “We’ve not been given the priority we deserve but even if that is done to us, we’ll continue to be with NDA, as we’re now.”
Rajak’s comments come just three days after the Janata Dal (United) announced that Nitish Kumar will be the face of the NDA campaign in Bihar. This statement was seen as an attempt by the party to put pressure on the BJP ahead of any future discussions on seat-sharing.
The Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, a part of the NDA coalition in Bihar, meanwhile said that it cannot accept Nitish Kumar as the “leader” of the coalition. “He [Nitish Kumar] can make a U-turn again and go back to Laluji [Lalu Prasad Yadav], can’t trust,” RLSP Working President Nagmani told ANI.
RLSP leader and Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha will not take part in a dinner hosted by BJP in Patna on Thursday.
JD(U) had allied with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress to form a government after the 2015 Assembly elections. However, JD(U) pulled out of the coalition in 2017 and joined the BJP-led NDA.
Ahead of the 2019 elections, Nitish Kumar has reportedly sent feelers to Lalu Prasad Yadav about a possible reconciliation. But Yadav has demanded that Kumar first break the alliance the JD(U) has with BJP.