With the five-phase Bihar polls almost there, hectic number crunching is underway in the BJP camp. Between wanting to cash in on the anti-incumbency factors, trying to win the maximum possible individual seats and banking on key regional allies, it is quite a tight rope for the party in the state.
As per the party’s initial calculation, it was hoping to field around 160-165 seats, of which it was targeting to win around 122, the halfway mark in the 243-member assembly. Of around the remaining 78-80 seats, they intended to give around 40 seats to Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party and 25 to the RLSP. The remaining seats were supposed to be given to Hindustani Awaam Morcha. In this way the BJP was looking to seal its luck with the Dalit, Mahadalit and the Keori community’s votes.
However it ain’t as smooth a sailing BJP would have wanted. The Hindustan Awaam Morcha with its undeniable command on the Mahadalit community wants as many seats as Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP. Both the LJP and the RLSP had both agreed to the BJP’s initial seat allocation maths but with HAM demanding for more, the BJP is forced to go back to the drawing board. The point is what would happen if BJP did not accede to HAM’s Jitan Ram Manjhi’s demand.
BJP’s whole calculation was based on the thinking that they would field as many of their candidates as possible and significantly reducing the dependence on allies to form the Government. No wonder they spent the better part of the Sunday mulling on the overall seat sharing formula ahead of the election that is set to begin next month. BJP even went as far as offering 5 additional party seats to HAM members but Manjhi’s hasn’t seem to have relented from his stance yet.
So will BJP reduce the number of seats offered to other allies or would it cut down on the number of seats it decides to contest on its own? Guess that would be a wait and watch game for now.