Allies bond in Bihar well, to campaign for 'NDA Dobara'

A BJP source said contention over three-four seats was the only roadblock in announcement of the candidates.

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A campaign poster of JD(U) installed outside the party office in Patna

While the Mahagathbandhan leaders are discussing an agreeable seat sharing formula, the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is busy finalising the constituencies and candidates their parties will field in Bihar in the 2019 general election.

The NDA, which has three constituent parties in Bihar - the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) - have already agreed on a 17-17-6 seat-division formula for the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar.

"All NDA parties are in talks, we discuss the seats and the candidates and are already in process of finalising everything. I should say the announcements will be made very soon," said JD-U state president Bashishtha Narayan Singh. He added, "Not just the party, we will strongly campaign for all NDA candidates. We are not working in 'party-spirit', rather all NDA candidates are considered as one block."

The JD-U also released a new poll poster with the slogans "Sachcha hai, Achha hai… Chalo Nitish ke saath chalein" and "Sankalp Hamara, NDA Dobara." Singh said, "While deciding candidature, those who have served the party for a long time as well as have a hold in their constituency are likely to be given preference for the ticket."

A BJP source said contention over three-four seats was the only roadblock in announcement of the candidates. "Who will contest on which seat should be decided in the next couple of days, definitely before March 18, when the nominations commence," said BJP leader and Bihar minister Nand Kishore Yadav.

The BJP, which had won 22 seats in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, will be dropping at least a couple of sitting MPs. The job has become easier considering that one of its MP Kirti Azad (Darbhanga) has joined the Congress, another Shatrughan Sinha (Patna Sahib) is also on his way out and one seat was left vacant following the demise of MP Bhola Singh.

"The decision taken by the NDA will be final and it will be inappropriate to comment until the seats are announced," said Union minister Giriraj Singh, whose sitting seat Nawada is likely to fall in an ally's quota this year.

The BJP source outlined Buxar, Ara and Pataliputra seats among the other contentious constituencies within the NDA at present.

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