The NDA in Bihar on Sunday announced the seat-sharing formula for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in the state. As per the arrangement, the BJP and the JD(U) will contest 17 seats each, while the remaining six would be fought by the LJP.
The state presidents of the BJP and its allies – Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP – also declared the list of constituencies on which they will contest, along with the announcement on seat sharing.
The BJP will field its candidates from Champaran (East), Champaran (West), Shivhar, Madhubani, Araria, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Maharajganj, Saran, Ujiarpur, Begusarai, Patna Sahib, Pataliputra, Buxar, Sasaram and Aurangabad.
Nitish Kumar's JD(U) will contest on Valmiki nagar, Sitamarhi, Jhanjharpur, Siwan, Bhagalpur, Kishanganj, Supaul, Katihar, Munger, Nawada, Jehanabad, Nalanda, Katihar, Gopalganj, Madhepura, Banka, Gaya, Karakat and Jehanabad seats.
Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party will contest on Lok Sabha Constituencies of Vaishali, Hajipur, Samastipur, Khagaria, Nawada, Jamui, along with parliamentary constituency of Nawada.
The formula of seat-sharing was announced a few months ago in the national capital jointly by BJP president Amit Shah, JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar and LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan.
The BJP agreed to contest on lesser seats as compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls after its allies flexed muscles last year, demanding a larger seat share. Recently, Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP moved out of the NDA and joined hands with the RJD-led grand alliance in the state.
In 2009, JD-U and BJP contested the Lok Sabha polls with a seat-sharing formula of 25-15. While BJP won 12 out of 15, the JD-U won 20. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar later walked away from the NDA ahead of 2014 elections over the BJP’s decision to project then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.
The two parties contested 2014 parliamentary polls separately. The BJP won 22 seats on its own while its new ally, the LJP secured six out of the seven seats it contested. Other alliance partner, the RLSP won three out of four seats it contested. The JD-U could only of the 40 seats.
The RJD-led 'mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) will announce the seat sharing formula for the Lok Sabha polls on March 18, according to Hindustani Awami Morcha (Secular) president Jitan Ram Manjhi.
Leaders of the RJD and the Congress also said everything has almost been finalised and the seat sharing would be declared on Monday.
Bihar Lok Sabha elections schedule
Bihar will witness a seven-phase polling for its 40 Lok Sabha seats. The polls will start with the first phase on April 11 and will end on May 19 when the seventh and last phase will be held.
As per schedule, the four constituencies which will go to polls on April 11 are Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada, Jamui.
Five constituencies - Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnea, Bhagalpur and Banka - will vote on April 18, the second phase.
While Jhanjharpur, Supaul, Araria, Madhepura and Khagaria will witness polling on April 23, Darbhanga, Ujiarpur, Samastipur, Begusarai and Munger will go to polls on April 29 in fourth phase, Srinivasan told reporters.
Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Saran and Hajipur will vote on May 6 in the phase, he said.
Voting will take place in eight constituencies of Valmikinagar, West Champaran, East Champaran, Sheohar, Vaishali, Gopalganj, Siwan and Maharajganj in the sixth phase on May 12.
Patna Saheb, Nalanda, Patliputra, Ara, Buxar, Sasaram, Jehanbad and Karakat will vote in the seventh and final phase on May 19.
By-polls for Assembly constituencies of Dehri (in Rohtas district) and Nawada will take place simultaneously along with the Lok Sabha polls, Srinivasan said.
Both the seats fell vacant after the conviction of RJD MLAs Raj Ballabh Yadav (Nawada) and Iliyas Hussain (Dehri).