Amit Shah meets Bihar allies to firm up seat-sharing plans

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 17, 2015 17:56 IST
BJP president Amit Shah and three other senior party leaders were trapped inside a lift for around 40 minutes at the state guest house in Patna. (Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

BJP president Amit Shah on Monday is meeting leaders of his party's allies in Bihar to decide the seat-sharing agreement for the upcoming assembly elections in the state.

Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ram Vilas Paswan and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi are attending the meeting in New Delhi which is underway.

When asked about the decision on Bihar CM candidate ahead of the meeting Manjhi told ANI, "The NDA has a lot of able leaders. We will follow whatever PM Modi decides."

Paswan and Kushwaha had earlier met the Bharatiya Janata Party chief, but they have not been offered any concrete proposal so far.

Sources privy to the discussion between the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance partners told HT that the saffron party may get 150-plus seats while the LJP would continue to be the second largest constituent with around 40-45 seats. Kushwaha could get anything between 30 and 35 seats while Manjhi would be the smallest constituent with a share of 15-20 seats.

These figures are contrary to the ambitious demands made by allies – the RLSP and HAM in particular. While the HAM-S has reportedly submitted to the BJP a list of 75 assembly seats with strong mahadalit population, the RLSP is demanding 60 plus seats for its candidates.

"Every party starts from a very ambitious position and climbs down to a pragmatic level. We expect that reaching a seat sharing agreement with alliance partners would not be a big problem," a BJP source said.

Janata Dal (United), BJP's partner in the last election before they split in 2013, had then fought 141 seats.

Last week, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had stolen a march over the NDA by announcing a seat sharing formula, which made BJP allies in Bihar a bit restless about the delay on their part.

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