NCP on Sunday issued an ultimatum to the secular 'grand alliance' in Bihar to reconsider seat distribution by August 20 saying it will not settle for less than 12 seats in the assembly elections and that all options were open to it.
"It is completely unacceptable. Moreover, the way in which they rejected our claim of 12 seats is objectionable. It seems that they neither need the party nor a Muslim face," NCP leader and MP Tariq Anwar told reporters in Patna.
Anwar alleged that the seat-sharing was a one-sided affair and that his party was not consulted.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad had announced the electoral pact at a press conference in the presence of Congress in-charge CP Joshi on Wednesday, allocating 100 seats each to RJD and JDU, 40 seats to the Congress and 3 to NCP.
Anwar was particularly peeved over the lack of formula in the seat distribution. "During the last Lok Sabha elections, NCP fought the polls in alliance with RJD and Congress. While NCP was given one seat, RJD was given 27 and Congress 12, but we had a strike rate of 100% against RJD winning only 4 out of the 27 seats and Congress winning only 2 out of the 12," he said.
"Even in the last assembly election, when there was a different formation, we came second in 4 seats, third in 13 and fourth in 18 seats out of the 171 we contested. In this scenario, we are expecting at least 12 legislative seats from the alliance and had sounded it," he said.
The NCP national general secretary said that the party was in the process of holding internal meetings and was exploring options with like-minded parties for a possible tie-up. "We will announce our decision on August 20," he said.
On being asked whether he was in talks with Pappu Yadav, Anwar admitted that he was contacted by the suspended RJD leader for an electoral tie-up.
He also added that the NCP was open to talks with all parties except the BJP.
When asked if he had spoken to either Nitish Kumar or Lalu Prasad after the electoral pact was announced, Anwar replied in the negative.
"The ball is in their court. If talks are initiated, we will definitely talk. We have still kept our options open. We are also in talks with the Left parties and other secular parties. We will do whatever is necessary for our survival," he said.