New Delhi:Â “Why 145? The entire 243 seats are available,” Nitish Kumar.
Oh well, it looks like the Janata Parivar, wedding of the ruling Janata Dal-United and the Rashtriya Janata Dal is going through a rough patch. The ‘couple’ now seems to be fighting over the seat-sharing formula for the upcoming Assembly polls in Bihar.
Both the parties are yet to work out a mutual-acceptance formula, even though the elections are barely a few months away. Though Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD president Lalu Prasad have reiterated their resolve to fight the polls together in their bid to prevent the Bharatiya Janata Party from capturing power in the state, consensus over the seats continues to elude their parties.
The RJD, in fact, wants the results of last year’s parliamentary polls to be the yardstick for the number of seats to be contested by both the parties, a proposal unlikely to be accepted by the JD-U. “Our party is bigger in the state, as it came in the second position in as many as 145 constituencies in the Lok Sabha polls,” RJD vice-president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said in Patna. “The JD-U came second in only 43 seats.”
According to the former Union Minister, the results of the 2010 Assembly polls could not be taken into consideration when the JD-U was part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at that time. “The JD-U cannot stake claim to all its seats under the ‘sitting-getting’ formula,” he said. “We would rather hold the talks on the seat-to-seat basis.”
In the 2010 Assembly polls, the JD-U won 115 seats in the 243-member House, while the RJD had managed to win only 22 seats. But last year, JD-U managed to bag only two seats out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats while the RJD won four in Bihar. The RJD, however, claimed that its candidates had come on the second position in 143 assembly segments.
Among other things, Lalu advised Nitish to immediately file an appeal in the Supreme Court against the recent quashing of the state government’s order to give reservation in promotion to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe employees by the Patna High Court. He also told the state government to ensure better relief measures for the earthquake victims in the state and provide Rs.10 lakh to the next of the kin of those killed in the natural calamity. Besides, he advised the Nitish government to address the issue of contractual staff in the state.
Nitish, however, sought to allay the apprehensions of Lalu on the issue of promotion to the SC-ST employees. He said that the state government was already seeking legal opinion on the issue. “We will appeal in the double Bench of the High Court,” he said.