BJP and the JD(U) in talks for a seat-sharing formula in Bihar

BJP and the JD(U) in talks for a seat-sharing formula in Bihar
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First Published: Fri, Mar 13 2009. 11 52 PM IST
New Delhi: Senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party are squabbling. Arun Jaitley, the man known for his election management skills on Friday skipped party’s central election committee meeting where candidates were be chosen for Bihar. He is said to be miffed over the manner in which party president Rajnath Singh is handling the election campaign. Jaitley is known to be close to the party’s prime ministerial candidate L K Advani. BJP leaders tried to play down the incident.
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In Bihar the BJP and the JD(U) are involved in last-minute talks to arrive at a seat-sharing formula. Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar is in New Delhi to hold talks with the top BJP leadership including L K Advani. JD(U) is insisting on having two more seats from the BJP quota - Kishanganj and Madhubani - and a 26-14 formula in favor of it. Under the last arrangement, the BJP got 16 seats.
But the BJP could breathe easy as its alliance with the Shiv Sena has finally come through in Maharashtra. The two parties have agreed that the BJP will contest 26 seats and the Sena in the remaining 22 constituencies. Though the formula is the same as it was in the 2004 Parliamentary elections, leaders of the two parties said all contentious issues have been resolved.
Meanwhile, CPI’s veteran leader A B Bardhan on Friday threw cold water on the ambitions of BSP’s Mayawati to emerge as the prime ministerial candidate for the Third Front. The veteran leader said the Third Front would not name any leader for the top post in the run-up to the elections. He said the question of the Prime Minister would be taken up only after the elections.
And finally some heartburn in the Left ranks. CPI and the CPI(M) were locked in a slugfest that threatened to go dirty. The CPI was angry that its senior partner was refusing to part with the Ponnani parliamentary seat in Kerala. The fight went so far that CPI threatened this could result in a split in Left Democratic Front in Kerala and could even spread to alliances outside the state. With the intervention of senior leaders, the two parties have buried the hatchet for now. CPI gets to keep the seat.
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First Published: Fri, Mar 13 2009. 11 52 PM IST
More Topics: India Votes 09 | Arun Jaitley | LK Advani | BJP | Bihar |