With their relationship on "track" in Bihar now after the row between Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi, BJP and JD-U have finalised seat sharing for the upcoming Assembly election in the state.
Highly placed sources in NDA said that both parties have agreed to share the 243 Assembly seats there as per the formulae of the last election in October 2005 under which JD-U had contested 139 seats and BJP 102.
BJP and JD-U had fielded independent candidates on the remaining two seats. The decision on these two seats could be taken after the election dates are announced, the sources said.
The seat sharing deal was sealed after JD-U chief and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav held talks with BJP President Nitin Gadkari. The seat sharing has been finalised by the NDA even before the election dates are to be announced.
Sources in JD-U said that it was deemed necessary to clear misunderstandings that have cropped between the two parties after the controversy in Bihar on June 12.
The relationships between the two parties had soured after the appearance of posters of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar shaking hands together and newspaper advertisements lauding Modi's aid to Bihar for Kosi flood victims.
Soon after, an angry Bihar Chief Minister had cancelled the dinner being hosted by him for BJP leaders and even returned the Rs 5 crore aid given by Gujarat. This had led to speculation that JD-U will break off its ties from BJP like Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janta Dal had done in Orissa.
There was also a feeling in BJP that JD-U's outburst was aimed at forcing the saffron party to agree for a lesser number of seats. "JD-U, however, has given the assurance that it was not the case," the sources said.
Though there is no hitch on the number of seats each party would contest, there could be changes in the profile of seats held by each party as the demography of a large number of seats has undergone a sea change in the state after the delimitation exercise was carried out last year.
Asked about the chances of BJP and JD-U contesting the elections separately in Bihar, a senior leader from the alliance said this was "impractical" and the situation in Bihar is different from that of Orissa.
A top leader in BJP said both the alliance partners will fight the Bihar elections jointly and the seat sharing formulae accepted in October 2005 will be followed this time also.
Sharad Yadav had earlier said that the relationship between the two parties "is on track" and the sad incident of June 12 "has passed now". PTI