Seat sharing talks with the Janata Dal (U) will figure high on the agenda during BJP chief Amit Shah’s visit to Patna on Thursday. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is scheduled to join Mr Shah for both breakfast and dinner during the visit. Top sources in the BJP have confirmed that while Mr Shah will be largely busy with organisational meetings, two one-on-one meetings have been scheduled with Mr. Kumar.“Adhyakshaji (BJP president Amit Shah) will be having breakfast with the Chief Minister (Nitish Kumar) at the State guest house where he will be staying. After addressing organisational meetings like the social media volunteers meet, a meeting of vistaraks, core committee and Shakti Kendra meetings, he will have dinner with Nitish Kumar at the latter’s residence,” said a source. State BJP president Nityanand Rai confirmed the two meetings. “Seat sharing talks are on the anvil, and a formula that will be good for all stakeholders will be formulated,” added the source. No other details were shared as party men and allies like the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) are holding their peace.Electoral equation“We won 22 seats in 2014 on our own; some of them were seats where JD(U) used to win as part of the NDA. Therefore, the seat adjustment is not just about absolute numbers but particular seats and this will have implications for some sitting BJP MPs too,” added the source. Meanwhile, a political observer in Bihar told The Hindu, “I don’t see any electoral dividend for the BJP to take JD(U) along with it in Lok Sabha poll…for the BJP, a triangular contest will always benefit as both RJD and JD(U) would cut each other’s backward caste vote while the BJP’s vote bank will be intact in the name of PM Narendra Modi”.“Though, it will be a different ball game if JD(U) compromises with 9-10 seats with the BJP promising it a lion share in the State Assembly poll in 2020,” said political analyst Ajay Kumar.
Croatian supporters outnumbered their French opponents in the streets of Moscow on Sunday ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup final at the Luzhniki Stadium.Croatia, who will be playing their World Cup final ever, are also expected to have more fans at the Luzhniki in a few hours time than their low-key French counterparts.This may be because of the fact that the Croatians are thrilled that their country is playing their first-ever World Cup final and the fans are going to be ‘on fire’ when the final gets underway in Moscow.The 20th-ranked team in the world eliminated hosts Russia in the quarter-finals and England in the semis, delighting their home country of 4.2 million people.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGE”Whether we win today or lose, Croatia is going to be on fire,” said Croatian fan Kristjan Alapic, from the city of Velika Gorica, as he stood outside Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre.”Tomorrow don’t expect anybody to show up for work. This brings the whole population together.”We’ve enjoyed meeting fans from around the globe on #WorldCup Daily at Russia 2018 Full episode: https://t.co/2ksRlXZj3t pic.twitter.com/8Obr0uvipA FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 15, 2018When Croatia take on France at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium on Sunday, the team hopes to settle an old score with the French dating back to the 1998 World Cup.That year, Croatia’s World Cup dreams were ended when France beat them 2-1 in the semi-finals before going on to win the tournament.”It is unbelievable to be in the final for such a small country such as Croatia,” said 47-year-old Croatian fan Denis Papac near Red Square. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”Also read – France vs Croatia, World Cup 2018 final prediction:. Buyan the bear has a winneradvertisementAfter Croatia eliminated Russia, Croatian tour operators struggled to secure enough airplane space to get all the country’s fans to Russia for the World Cup.”There weren’t that many Croatians earlier in the tournament,” said 30-year-old Miro Susa from Osijek, who was on a square adjacent to the Kremlin.”This is a unique opportunity. This will maybe never happen again.”Also read – World Cup 2018: Croatia’s road to the finalThe Luzhniki joins an elite group of stadiums to host the #WorldCupFinal today…Where has been your favourite final venue? pic.twitter.com/sAZb7OwMjj FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 15, 2018While Croatian fans were gearing up for the match, Russian police stepped up security, closing off traffic in central Moscow in preparation for the visits of high-ranking officials tied in to the World Cup.Ahead of the final Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks on Sunday with Hungarian President Viktor Orban and Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and was still expecting French President Emmanuel Macron.Also read – Google doodle dedicated to France vs Croatia World Cup finalAt Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, hundreds of security staff in civilian clothes were inspecting the premises.French fans were more reserved ahead of the final and seemed to be fewer in number than their Croatian counterparts.”I’ve been seeing a lot of Croatians. That has really hit me,” said 32-year-old French fan Benjamin Haddad. “The atmosphere is very Croatian right now.”Haddad could not explain why French fans were less visible on the streets of Moscow ahead of the match but suggested the enthusiasm of the Croatians could be tied to their team’s unforeseen success.”It’s the first final in Croatia’s history,” he said. “It’s a surprise for them to be here. It’s an even more historical moment for them.”(With inputs from Reuters)