- Lok Sabha election proposal will come from BJP in 3-4 weeks: Nitish Kumar
- He reportedly said he expects nothing short of 15 seats in Bihar
- The number means a big sacrifice from the BJP
After their breakfast and dinner together last week, reportedly to iron out differences over seat sharing for the 2019 national election, Nitish Kumar and BJP president Amit Shah were a picture of friendship goals. Today, the Bihar Chief Minister got down to business and declared a deadline of sorts for his ally.
Asked about his meetings with the BJP chief, Nitish Kumar initially said there's not much to report and "everything was cordial". But later he said: "Very soon, the proposal on Lok Sabha elections will come from the BJP and it will come in the next three to four weeks."
During their talks last week, Nitish Kumar had asked Amit Shah to talk to his other allies on seat sharing. Later, Amit Shah's message for political opponents was "Stop drooling", Nitish Kumar is with us.
Today's comments are seen as a hint that the BJP should get on the job and come back with an offer in the next four weeks.
The BJP was seen to be keen on pushing these discussions to November-December. It is clear that the Chief Minister expects the BJP to initiate talks with its other National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners like Ram Vilas Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha soon to work out the number of seats they are willing to cede to the Janata Dal United (JDU).
Nitish Kumar has reportedly made it clear that he expects nothing short of 15 of Bihar's 40 seats. That number means a big sacrifice from the BJP, which won the lion's share of Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 election.
Nitish Kumar's JDU, which fought alone in 2014 after ending its alliance with the BJP, won only two seats. In contrast, the NDA cornered a splendid 31 of 40 Lok Sabha seats; the BJP bagged as many as 22.
Last year, Nitish Kumar revived his alliance with the BJP but over the past few months, ties have been strained over incidents of communal violence and by-poll defeats.
A senior Bihar BJP leader said his party didn't have any problem giving Nitish Kumar big brother status in the state. "Of course we don't have any problem in treating Nitishji as the elder brother and the NDA's face as he is leading the biggest party in the Bihar government," CP Thakur, former union minister and senior Bihar BJP leader told NDTV.
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