2020 is yet to start and the poll pot in Bihar is already on high heat, The state is scheduled to go for Assembly elections in the second half of the year.
As 2019 draws to a close, a debate on seat-sharing between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United) has begun as several top leaders of both parties commented over the issue.
It all started with JD(U) national vice president Prashant Kishor’s statement that his party, being the senior partner in the NDA in Bihar, should contest more seats than the BJP in the assembly election next year.
The two parties had contested an equal number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections this year. However, Kishor said that in his view, the Lok Sabha election formula cannot be repeated in the assembly polls.
The poll strategist-turned-politician, who became a full-time member of the JD(U) just about a year ago, also said the assembly elections are to be fought with Nitish Kumar as the NDA face.
His comment received an immediate response from the BJP. "The party believes in maintaining decorum, discipline and not making any public statement which has only news value,” state party spokesman Nikhil Anand said.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi also launched a veiled attack on Kishor after his assertion that the JD(U) had greater political heft in Bihar. "The 2020 assembly polls in the state will be fought under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Seat-sharing will be finalized by top leaders of both parties at an appropriate time,” said Modi adding that those "engaged in the business of collating political data and coining slogans" were benefiting the opposition in the state.
Even a JD(U) leader voiced disapproval of Kishor’s "untimely" statement on the seat-sharing formula for the upcoming Assembly polls.
RCP Singh, the party’s national general secretary (organization) and its leader in the Rajya Sabha, frowned upon Kishor and said, "Two things are clear about the 2020 polls. First, elections will be fought under the leadership of Nitish babu. Second, seat-sharing is not something that will be decided in full media glare.”
"Some people have a habit of giving statements over every issue. I do not have much to say about them but this is untimely. They should refrain from raising such matters prematurely", added Singh who has been Kumar’s close aide for more than a decade.(With inputs from PTI)