Bihar polls: BJP and allies to meet on August 31 to reach seat sharing deal


NEW DELHI: BJP and its Bihar allies will meet on August 31 to thrash out a deal over seat-sharing in the state assembly polls amid strident demands being made by parties like LJP and RLSP for a large share of seats.

Party General Secretary and Bihar in-charge Bhupender Yadav said party chief Amit Shah will head the meeting and played down the claims being made by allies, saying they have not conveyed it to BJP.

LJP and RLSP presidents Ram Vilas Paswan and Upendra Kushwaha, both Union Ministers, besides HAM (Secular) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi are likely to attend the meeting, the first such gathering of all NDA allies over seat-sharing.

Paswan and Kushwaha had earlier met Shah but sources in the two regionals parties said they have not been offered any concrete proposal so far.

Kushwaha has asked BJP to contest 102 seats, it had contested in 2010 and leave 142 others to its allies. JD(U), BJP’s partner in the last election before they split in 2013, had then fought 142 seats. Kushwaha has been supported by LJP’s Bihar unit even though Paswan has refrained from making such demand in public.

BJP sources have though rejected such claims and the party is likely to fight on more than 160 seats.

BJP wants to wrap up the seat-sharing talks by the first week of September.

Elections are likely to be held in October-November and BJP has pulled out all the stops to dislodge its friend-turned-foe Chief Minister Nitish Kumar from the power.

Kumar has joined hands with his long time adversary Lalu Prasad of RJD and Congress to take on BJP.

Bihar polls are being seen as a must-win battle for the saffron combine if it is to restore the political momentum in its favour after losing it to a large extent following its rout in Delhi assembly polls and setbacks over key reform bills.


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Nagaraju Tadakaluri
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