NDA finalises seat-sharing, BJP to fight 160 seats in Bihar

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) The National Democratic Alliance on Monday finalised the seat-sharing arrangement for the Bihar assembly elections, with the BJP keeping the lion’s share of 160 seats and leaving 83 for its allies LJP, RLSP and HAM.

The maximum of 40 seats were given to Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), followed by 23 seats to Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and 20 seats to former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM).

Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah announced the seat-sharing agreement at a press conference here following consensus after Manjhi again met him at his residence on Monday morning.

Shah said that as per the agreement, some HAM candidates will fight on BJP tickets.

Paswan, Manjhi and Kushwaha were also present at the press meet.

Shah ruled out any differences among the NDA partners over seat-sharing and expressed confidence of winning two-thirds majority in the state.

“There is no differences among us over seat-sharing. We will fight the election under the leadership of (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji and hoping to win two-thirds majority,” he said.

Before announcing the seat-sharing deal, Shah held parleys on Monday morning with Manjhi, who was reported to be extremely upset with allotment of seats to his HAM.

On the issue of the chief ministerial candidate, Shah said it will be decided after the polls.

“We will contest the polls under Modi ji’s leadership and as far as the chief ministerial candidate is concerned, it will be decided by NDA MLAs after the polls,” Shah said.

Shah also slammed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for allying with the Congress and Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.

“The alliance under the leadership of Nitish Kumar has joined hands with the Congress that has been involved in scams worth Rs.12 lakh crore. With such an ally, Nitish Kumar is promising a corruption-free Bihar,” Shah said.

“Lalu Prasad has been a symbol of ‘jungle raj’. With such an ally, he (Nitish Kumar) is promising a crime-free Bihar,” he added.

“All development figures that Nitish ji is citing are those till the time the BJP was a part of the state government. Since then, it has changed a lot. Bihar is now moving again towards ‘jungle raj’ under Nitish Kumar,” the BJP chief said.

Shah appealed to the voters to give the NDA a chance to rule the state.

“The people of Bihar have given power to the Congress, the RJD and the JD-U. I appeal to them to give a chance to the NDA,” he told reporters.

“It’s time Bihar votes for development, for which voting for NDA is essential.”

Shah also took a dig at the Janata Dal-United, the RJD and the Congress combine.

“Here we have a united NDA, whereas their ‘grand alliance’ is without a leader,” he said.

The Samajwadi Party recently walked out of the grand alliance accusing the JD-U and the RJD of not consulting with it in seat distribution and humiliating the party by doling out just five seats.

The JD-U and the RJD have decided to contest 100 seats each for the 243-member Bihar assembly, while the Congress has been given 40 seats.

Assembly polls will be held in five phases between October 12 and November 5. Counting of votes will take place on November 8.

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