Crisis in NDA blows off; LJP-BJP reach an honourable agreement in Bihar
After holding talks with BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday, Paswan along with his son and MP Chirag Paswan held discussions with union minister Arun Jaitley on Friday over seat-sharing arrangements in Bihar.Updated: Dec 22, 2018 11:24 IST
Seat-sharing talks between Ramvilas Paswan’s LJP and the BJP for Lok Sabha seats in Bihar have ended on acceptable terms.
After holding talks with BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday, Paswan along with his son and MP Chirag Paswan held discussions with union minister Arun Jaitley on Friday over seat-sharing arrangements in Bihar.
“We are and will remain in NDA. Seat-sharing will be announced in days to come,” Ram Chandra Paswan, MP and Ramvilas’s brother, who attended the meeting, said. “Talks are going on. An announcement will be made at an appropriate time. We have put our points before the BJP leadership and the important thing is that we are being heard. Hope everything will be fine,” Chirag told reporters.
Chirag had recently given an ultimatum to NDA to sort out seat-sharing issues in Bihar by December 31 or else it would also decide its future course of action.
If sources are to be believed, after talks with Shah and Jaitley, LJP has agreed to contest on five seats in Bihar, one in UP, beside a Rajya Sabha seat, or six seats in Bihar alone. “The BJP-JD (U) had already announced to contest on 50% seats each,” said an NDA leader.
The LJP, which has six MPs, wants to contest in the same number of seats for 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The party had contested on seven seats and won six in 2014. Besides, the party has also been demanding a Rajya Sabha seat for Ramvilas, who is not keen to contest the Lok Sabha polls.
In the last Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had contested from 30 seats and won 22 in Bihar, while the LJP won six seats and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), which is now a part of Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) had bagged three. In 2014, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) had contested on its own but performed poorly. It had won only two seats.
The LJP won six out of seven seats with a vote percentage of 6.50 in 2014 Lok Sabha seats against 3.04% votes received by the RLSP. Besides, Paswan still enjoys the clout among Dalits and Mahadailts, which form 16% of Bihar’s population.
JD (U) sources said that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who reached New Delhi Friday evening to attend a private function, will hold a series of talks with both the alliance partners in the next two days. “In all probability, an announcement over number of seats to be contested by each party will be made either on Saturday or Sunday,” said a JD (U) leader.