HomePolitics and Current AffairsBihar Political Chess: BJP Crafting a 'Chirag' Solution for Bihar's Electoral Jigsaw

Bihar Political Chess: BJP Crafting a ‘Chirag’ Solution for Bihar’s Electoral Jigsaw

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has taken charge of resolving the impasse, engaging in discussions with key players like Chirag Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha. Despite initial discord, recent developments suggest a thaw in relations, with both Paswan and Kushwaha seemingly inclined towards agreement.

The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) requires a ‘Chirag' solution to energise the campaign machinery of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and replicate the 2019 victory, securing 39 Lok Sabha segments in Bihar. The genesis of this necessity traces back to Nitish Kumar's JDU rejoining the NDA just a couple of months prior to the general elections. Initially, there was an almost finalised seat-sharing agreement between the BJP and all NDA parties, including Chirag's Lok JanshaktiParty (Ramvilas). However, the scenario shifted when Nitish deserted Lalu Yadav's RJD to re-form the state government as the NDA Chief .

Chirag is not the only one

Apart from Chirag Paswan, Hindustan Awami Morcha president Upendra Kushwah is also miffed with seat allocation formula given to him. As the issue remains unresolved, Union Amit Shah has taken it up personally. Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Bihar today (Saturday, March 9).To break the deadlock, Amit Shah engaged in extensive discussions with Chirag Paswan in Delhi on Friday a day prior to his Bihar visit. Senior BJP leader Sanjay Jaiswal met Upendra Kushwaha in Patna to iron out the stalemate. Initially, both leaders were reportedly disgruntled, but now there are reports of them reaching an agreement.

Prior to Nitish's return, the distribution of was somewhat settled, with 28 for BJP, 4 for LJP, 3 for RLJP, 3 for Kushwaha, 1 for , and 1 potentially for Nagmani or VIP, allowing for slight variations. Kushwaha had his sights set on Karakat, Sitamarhi, and Supaul, while Chirag aimed for Jamui, Jehanabad, Khagaria, and Vaishali, later expanding efforts to include Valmiki Nagar and Siwan. Tensions also brewed in Hajipur. Initially, BJP intended to allocate 3 seats to Kushwaha and 4-5 seats to Chirag. His 2019 wins were absorbed by his uncle and Union Minister Pashupati Paras's spilt group, prompting Chirag to assemble a new team comprising Arun Kumar, Renu Kumari, Sanjay Paswan, Khud, Raju Tiwari, and others. However, Nitish's presence caused Manjhi and Paras to solidify their positions, while Chirag and Upendra Kushwaha encountered obstaclesfacing competition from JDU MPs in his targeted seats.

In the changed scenario, Nitish Kumar seems unhurried in finalising the seat-sharing agreement and has flown to Britain for a four-day visit. He will only be available for discussions next week, but the BJP doesn't want to let the simmering going unstoppable in the alliance. Reports of possible shares of seats to each party in NDA are emerging now.

Who will get how many seats?

This will be discussed as soon as Nitish Kumar returns from abroad. According to sources, JDU has accepted BJP in the role of elder brother this time. Asserting its dominance as a major player and senior partner, the BJP has laid claim to the lion's share of Lok Sabha seats. Sources indicate that the BJP is poised to contest 20-22 seats. If this formula prevails, JDU will likely have to relinquish at least 3-4 seats, settling for 12-13 seats.Three other colleagues will be adjusted on the remaining seats. Both Chirag Paswan and his uncle Pashupati Paras will be adjusted on 6 seats. While there is a plan to give one seat to Upendra Kushwaha and one seat to Jitan Ram Manjhi's party HAM.There is also a proposal of merging Pashupati Paras's LJP faction with the BJP. Chirag likely receiving four seats, including his father late Ram Vilas Paswan's traditional constituency Hajipur. Chirag's acceptance is anticipated, with a significant announcement expected at the Sahebganj rally on the 10th in Muzaffarpur district.

In this intricate game of political chess, the BJP navigates through alliances and rivalries, striving to maintain its dominance while accommodating the aspirations of its allies. As the electoral battlefield takes shape, the ‘Chirag' solution emerges as a crucial element in BJP's quest to repeat its past successes and secure Bihar's electoral mandate.

Ramkumar Kaushik
Ramkumar Kaushikhttps://www.thebuckstopper.com/
Ram Kumar Kaushik is a seasoned journalist with over 25 years of experience across mediums. The architect of this news website, he is also a consultant with several media groups. He was formerly the group managing editor of ITV Network (NewsX, India News and The Sunday Guardian) and its digital products.
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