NewDelhi/Nagpur: The BJP on Monday announced the NDA’s seat sharing agreement for Bihar elections saying it will contest 160 of 243 assembly seats and Ran Vilas Paswan’s LJP will get 40, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM 20 and Kushwaha’s RLSP 23.
“There is no tug of war in the NDA over seat sharing. The issue of chief ministership will be decided by NDA MLAs after the polls,” Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah told reporters in Delhi.
The BJP and Manjhi’s Hindustani Avam Morcha (Secular) party managed to reach a seat-sharing agreement on Sunday after marathon talks between the two sides.
A final announcement on the seat sharing arrangement between the BJP and its three allies – Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Manjhi’s HAM(S) – was held up after the former chief minister played hardball over the arrangement on seats.
On Saturday, Manjhi’s associates had threatened to reconsider continuing in the alliance if a “respectable” offer was not made after the BJP agreed to spare 13-15 seats for them.
Though the BJP has a strong Dalit ally in Paswan, it wants Manjhi on its side in the high-stakes state elections to bring in the Mahadalit votes.
Manjhi was said to be unhappy after he was offered 13-15 seats by the BJP and sought to draw a parity with Paswan’s LJP, which was tipped to get around 40 seats. Those privy to the talks said the BJP wanted to contest around 160 of the state’s 243 seats, leaving 25 for RLSP.
BJP sources said its Central Election Committee is likely to meet on Tuesday as the party is keen to announce the names of its nominees at least for the seats which go to polls in the first few phases.
The five-phase polling for the 243-member assembly begins from October 12 and concludes on November 5.