Patna: The BJP has issued an order gagging its leaders from issuing statements on alliance and seat-sharing, amid increasing speculation about growing distance between the BJP and the JDU in Bihar on poll tickets for 2019.
“The top leadership of the party has categorically instructed state leaders not to issue any statement on seat-sharing and alliance,” a senior BJP functionary told The Telegraph on Wednesday. The BJP functionary also said there was no confusion at the top level of both the BJP and the JDU on such issues and things like seat-sharing would be sorted out amicably.
The BJP’s efforts to calm down tempers of NDA leaders from Bihar notwithstanding, JDU insiders have hinted that the party will continue to put pressure on the BJP leadership for early negotiations on the seat-sharing issue. “We stand for a respectable seat-sharing formula and are pressing to settle this issue early,” a senior JDU functionary said.
“What if we are offered a humiliating deal at the last hour? BJP leaders are meeting Shiv Sena and Akali Dal leaders but nothing is being discussed with us. Moreover, after the Jammu & Kashmir development, where the BJP broke off from the PDP in, there is restlessness in the party and our members want an early understanding on the seat-sharing issue. That is why we are pressing for the issue in advance.”
The JDU functionary’s apprehension do not seem totally out of place given that no BJP leader from Bihar is willing to say whether party president Amit Shah, who is scheduled to visit Bihar on July 12, will hold any meeting with JDU national president and chief minister Nitish Kumar during his visit.
“We have no information about any such meeting,” said a BJP functionary. During his daylong visit, Shah is scheduled to take part in a series of meetings on organisational issues. “We may go it alone, as we have just two seats at stake. We may even contest Assembly elections on our own.”
The functionary said the JDU was not averse to doing business with the Congress and the Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP. “At present, we are in the NDA and want to be part of the alliance in a respectable manner. Hoping the BJP leadership understands our position. Nobody should take things for granted,” he said.
Courtesy: The Telegraph