The BJP and Janata Dal ( United), as per their 50:50 deal has not been officially announced, there are indications that the two Lok Sabha seats in Patna district, Patna Saheb and Patliputra, would go in the BJP kitty.
According to their deal, JD(U) and BJP would contest 17 seats each in Bihar while six would be contested by Lok Janshakti Party( LJP) led by Ram Vilas Paswan. Before its deal with the BJP, the JD (U) was said to have been keen on Patliputra.
BJP leadership has apprised the JD(U) that since it currently held both Patna Saheb and Patliputra, it had a higher chance of winning the two seats, which have both urban and rural vote base, the NDA sources said.
“There is no dispute over Patna Saheb and Patliputra seats. Both would go in BJP’s kitty,” said a senior leader in the NDA, wishing not to be quoted.
In that case, it appears certain that BJP’s sitting MP from Patliputra, union minister Ram Kripal Yadav, would be pitted against RJD’s Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti for the seat, which was carved out as a parliamentary segment only 13 years ago.
In 2014, Ram Kripal Yadav, who had quit the RJD and joined BJP just ahead of the polls, defeated Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti.
In January this year, amid speculation that JD (U) may stake a claim on Patliputra, Yadav had met JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar.
According to sources, the union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad may be fielded by the BJP. Another name in the reckoning for the Patna Saheb seat is that of Rituraj, son of R K Sinha, a Rajya Sabha member from the BJP.
State BJP president Nityanand Rai refused to comment on reports that BJP had bargained with JD(U) to retain its two seats of Patna Saheb and Patliputra.
According to sources, BJP national president Amit Shah and chief minister Nitish Kumar, along with Bihar BJP in-charge Bhupendra Yadav, would hold final consultations on seats in coming weeks before announcing the candidates.