After two rounds of cordial meeting between BJP chief Amit Shah and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar, leaders of the two parties are upbeat about amicably finding a seat-sharing formula for the next Lok Sabha election. Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who was present during the meetings on Thursday, said on Twitter in Hindi that the opposition was in a "danger zone" because of the increase in comfort level of the National Democratic Alliance.
Modi said that this has sent a message to booth-level workers of both the parties to work unitedly to achieve success on all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar in 2019 general elections.
Also, JD(U) spokespersons now appear to have toned down their party's claim to a lion's share of the 40 seats since the meetings. Instead, they now lay emphasis on a broad and cordial understanding the two leaders have been able to reach.
JD(U) spokesman Sanjay Singh said that seat-sharing will not be a problem "when we share cordial vibes".
State BJP leaders, including C P Thakur, also appear to accept the key place the JD(U) enjoys in the NDA in Bihar.
On Thursday in Patna, Shah said that the NDA was as strong as ever. In a possible signal to state BJP leaders, he said that only TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu has left the NDA since 2014 but Kumar has re-joined it to strengthen the alliance.
With the issue of seat-sharing being discussed at the highest levels, state leaders have refrained from speaking out of turn.
On condition of anonymity, some of them, however, say that Shah is likely to first discuss seat-sharing issues with Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP and Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP to understand the possibility of the alliance winning the maximum number of seats.
In 2014, LJP won six seats while RLSP had three MPs.
Sources in the BJP say Shah is likely to have detailed discussions on seat sharing with Kumar only after that.
Stress would be given on ensuring optimum return for the NDA rather than on projecting any of the NDA constituents as a senior partner, the sources say.
Sources in BJP and JD(U) assert that this approach would enable them to reach a mutually acceptable and respectable solution.
The BJP chief is likely to visit Bihar again in November to interact with booth-level party workers, while JD(U)'s programmes to galvanize its workers are already under way.
First Published: IST