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As NDA's seat-sharing talks continue, Manjhi says 'not upset'

india Updated: Sep 17, 2015 15:40 IST
Bihar elections

HAM (S) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi addressing a press conference in Patna. (PTI Photo)

Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi played down differences with the BJP over the number of seats offered to him on Sunday, saying he was "not upset" with the proposal.

As the seat-sharing talks continue in the NDA, sources in Manjhi-led Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) claimed the party was offered more number of seats on Sunday than what was on the platter a day ago and appeared hopeful of a positive outcome as senior BJP functionaries including Union minister Ananth Kumar, who is party's in-charge for Bihar polls, met him in New Delhi.

Intensifying the efforts to placate Manjhi, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Bhupendra Yadav also met Manjhi to bring him on board on the seat-sharing formulae after BJP resolved the issue with two other allies --- Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP and Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP.

Full coverage: Bihar elections

With Manjhi sticking to his demand for more seats, finalisation of a seat-sharing arrangements by BJP with its allies for the assembly polls in the state had eluded even after hectic consultations.

According to sources, Manjhi had met BJP president Amit Shah at the latter's residence twice on Saturday and held seat-sharing talks. Manjhi was learnt to have expressed unhappiness over the 15-odd seats offered to HAM.

HAM was offered around 15 seats and the five outgoing MLAs owing allegiance to him have been asked to contest on BJP tickets.

While BJP plans to contest on around 160 seats out of a total of 243 seats, RLSP is being offered 25 seats while Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party around 40, it is learnt.

After Manjhi's disapproval over seats offered to him, BJP Bihar core group had held its meeting late Saturday evening.

Taking potshots at the NDA over the seat sharing wrangling, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said when there is alliance "minus any principal and for opportunism", such things happen."

"This is the beginning of the contradiction. Let us see what is in store next. Such alliances based on personal ambition and lust for power do not survive.

"When you go for such alliances, these contradictions come out, which are the beginning of an end. People will give a befitting reply to them," Singhvi said.

Read: Ex-Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's son held with cash worth Rs 4.65L