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    Bihar poll work gains pace: BJP leaders Fadnavis, Nadda to be in Patna Friday

    Synopsis

    This visit was initially planned for the last week of August but had to be postponed due to the lockdown in the state that ended on September 6.

    PTI
    New Delhi: After a slew of virtual meetings and rallies, BJP will kick off its Bihar election campaign on the ground with party chief JP Nadda and election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis scheduled to visit the state this weekend to hold strategy sessions and discuss seat-sharing with office bearers.

    Nadda and Fadnavis will reach Patna on September 11 in the evening to give momentum to the reach out among people ahead of the elections that are due in October-November. This visit was initially planned for the last week of August but had to be postponed due to the lockdown in the state that ended on September 6. The two leaders will discuss the poll preparations and strategy for these elections.

    Also high on the agenda of the two senior leaders is the seat sharing issue though BJP sources said it is not clear if Nadda will hold a meeting with Bihar chief minister and JDU leader Nitish Kumar on this issue. It is likely that Home Minister Amit Shah, who has now recovered from Covid, will be involved when the seats are finalised between NDA partners.

    JDU sources said as of now there is a broad agreement that both the parties will fight the seats they won in 2015 (JDU won 71 as part of the Mahagatbandhan with RJD and Congress; BJP won 54) while discussion has to take place for the other seats. The 2010 election performance (when the two parties fought together) will be a basis too and the two may lay claim to seats where their candidates came second.

    BJP central leadership has maintained that the Lok Sabha formula of BJP and JDU contested an equal number of seats will not be followed in the Assembly elections. While JDU is likely to demand a larger share to bolster Nitish Kumar’s claim to chief ministership, the state unit of BJP is reportedly of the view that the 2015 formula between JDU and RJD where each contested an equal number (101 seats) should be adopted.

    NDA partner LJP has been slamming Nitish Kumar and his governance record for the last few weeks while being all praise for BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. LJP Chief Chirag Paswan’s remarks are seen as a bargaining ploy to get more seats. BJP and JDU leaders laughed off LJP’s decision to field candidates in 143 of the 243 seats in Bihar and do not see LJP walking out of NDA. LJP had won only two seats in 2015.

    However, since the 5% Paswan votes are important for the NDA, some adjustment with LJP is expected. Nadda has categorically stated that the NDA will contest the Assembly elections under the leadership of Nitish Kumar and he will be the chief ministerial candidate.

    Sources said JDU will give seats from its share to new NDA partner HAM, led by Jitan Ram Manjhi. He is the only MLA from his party in the outgoing Assembly but has a hold over the Mahadalit votes.

    During his Bihar stay, Nadda will visit Dharbhanga on September 12 to meet Makhaana (fox nut) growers. He will also go to Muzaffarpur where the party has organised a meeting with women farmers. Rajkumari Devi, known popularly as Kisan Chachi, started a movement here and has helped around 300 women sustain themselves through farming. These women are also engaged in micro industry work like making pickles, papad, etc. that bring them a steady income.

    ( Originally published on Sep 09, 2020 )
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    1 Comment on this Story

    SkyWalker 139 days ago
    Let us see if Bihari's vote on issues or emotion
    The Economic Times