BJP, LJP leaders in hectic parleys on seat-sharing in Bihar

BJP, LJP leaders in hectic parleys on seat-sharing in Bihar

With an alliance between BJP and LJP almost final, leaders of the two parties today engaged in hectic parleys on seat-sharing in Bihar after three senior BJP leaders met LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan at his residence.

Party sources said a decision on the alliance could be announced as early as tomorrow.In a politically-significant gesture,BJP leaders Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Shahnawaz Hussain went to Paswan's residence in the afternoon to hold consultations with him.

Soon after, Bihar LJP President Pashupati Kumar Paras and party Parliamentary Board Chairman Chirag Paswan met BJP leaders Dharmendra Pradhan, Bihar BJP chief Mangal Pandey, its leader in state assembly Nand Kishore Yadav and senior leader Sushil Kumar Modi. Rudy, Hussain and Prasad were also present in the meeting.

From the LJP side, Chirag and Paras are negotiating the alliance with BJP after LJP Secretary General Abdul Khalik took a back seat after talks with Congress-RJD failed.Under the arrangements discussed so far, BJP has agreed to spare seven out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar for LJP.

The seats for which there is a broad agreement so far include Hajipur, Samastipur, Jamui, Munger, Khagaria and Vaishali. The discussions for last two days are mainly around the seventh seat, which could be Nalanda. Paswan's younger brother Ram Chandra Paswan said the "distance between BJP and LJP has come to an end on poll alliance" in Bihar.

"When people are coming to meet, it does mean there is a meeting of minds. The distance (between BJP and LJP) has come to an end. Where are two opinions about it," he said when asked whether the alliance has been finalised or has the distance between the two parties come to an end.

Significantly, the meetings between the two parties are taking place on a day BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is here and there was speculation that Paswan would meet him.

Modi held a separate meeting with BJP chief Rajnath Singh. The meeting came a day after LJP gave clear hints about allying with BJP after their Parliamentary Board meeting.

After meeting Paswan, Ravishankar Prasad said the LJP chief is a "senior" leader not only of Bihar but the entire country. "We have worked together during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government," the BJP leader recalled.

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