New Delhi: After months of speculation, BJP president Amit Shah on Friday announced that the party has reached a seat sharing agreement with Nitish Kumar’s party Janata Dal (United) in Bihar for the Lok Sabha elections next year.
The BJP chief said the two parties would contest the polls from equal number of seats, in what is being seen as a big boost to Kumar who had been insisting on a parity with the saffron party. The exact number, Shah said, would be revealed after two or three days.
The announcement came after the Bihar chief minister met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah at each of their residences in the capital for more than an hour.
Sources tell News18 that both BJP and JD(U) would contestfrom 17 seats each out of the 40 on offer, leaving six for the two other NDA allies in the state. Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP has been offered four seats and Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP would be left with the remaining two.
Shah during the announcement asserted that the four allies would remain together, but there are already murmurs to point to otherwise.
“Upendra Kushwaha and Ram Vilas Paswan will remain with us. When a new ally has joined us, there will be a reduction in seat share for everyone,” Shah told reporters.
But just hours later, the LJP signaled that it would want at least five seats in its kitty, in addition to a Rajya Sabha berth for party president Paswan.
Kushwaha, on the other hand, triggered speculation he would exit the alliance by meeting RJD chief Tejashwi Yadav in Bihar.