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How dependent is RLD on RLSP now that BJP and JD(U) have announced seat share formula, ask Mudda panellists; BJP hints of Rajya Sabha deal with Ram Vilas Paswan

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and BJP president Amit Shah have just announced that they would go half-and-half on seat sharing in Bihar for the 2019 national election.

Anant Tyagi moderated Saturday’s edition of Mudda which took up this interesting proposition. Participants included BJP’s Dinesh Singh, JD(U)’s Afzal Abbas, RJD’s Balwant Kumar, LJP’s Ashraf Ansari, Congress’ Brijendra Singh and journalist Vijay Upadhyay.

“There are 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. You had asked for 25 seats. How did that get reduced to 20?” he asked Abbas. “It is a respectable equation. After all, BJP won 22 seats in the last election. We will also fight together with LJP and RLSP,” Abbas said.

Is LJP ready to compromise on seats? Ashraf Ansari assured all that big brothers JD(U) and BJP would go half-and-half only after accommodating it.

Are there any secret machinations going on between Tejaswi Yadav and Upendra Kushwaha? Balwant Kumar said that initially, Nitish Kumar had said he will watch over the coalition of LJP, RLSP and others. “Kumar has betrayed the trust of LJP and RLSP. Our doors are open for everyone,” he said.

You say that you play inclusive politics. But you have never mentioned Upendra Kushwaha in your plans to manage your campaigns, Anant reminded Dinesh Singh.

The Congress-RJD-Left-Jitan Manjhi mahagatthbandhan will sweep the Bihar elections, said Brijendra Singh. Why? Because, JD(U) is on a losing streak.  Anant quickly reminded him though that the Congress won only two seats in 2014.

Upadhyay reminded the audience of the fragility of the JD(U)-BJP alliance as well as of the RJD-Congress ties.

Is there a deal that any ministerial berth will not go out to the JD(U)? Dinesh Singh said that was a decision that would be taken only after the elections. Will Paswan fall in because the BJP has promised to send him to Rajya Sabha next year, Anant asked. Everything cannot be discussed in presence of the media, Singh answered.

The BJP does not want to lose a friend like Paswan, said Upadhyay.

How strong is the RLD-Congress combine, wondered Anant. Does Kushwaha need Tejaswi or does Tejaswi need Kushwaha?

                                                                             —Compiled by Sucheta Dasgupta

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