BJP to contest in 160 seats in Bihar

BJP to contest in 160 seats in Bihar

Paswan gets 40, Manjhi manages 20

BJP to contest in 160 seats in Bihar

The BJP announced the seat-sharing arrangement within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the Bihar Assembly polls on Monday after prolonged negotiations with hard-bargaining allies.

The saffron outfit will contest in 160 seats, leaving 40 to the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), 23 to the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and the remaining 20 to the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM).  


Though the BJP wanted to go public on Saturday, after convincing LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, it had to defer the announcement after former Bihar chief minister and HAM chief Jitan Ram Manjhi demanded the same number of seats as that of the LJP.

BJP president Amit Shah held a joint press conference of the coalition partners to state that the NDA was fighting elections “together”, and on the contrary the “leader of the grand alliance (referring to Mulayam Singh) is no more with them”.

“There is no tug of war. There is no tension. You can see their smiling faces,” Shah told reporters to queries on the open dissatisfaction displayed by allies, mostly by Manjhi, till the last moment. 

Shah also revealed that some HAM candidates will be contesting on the BJP’s “Lotus” symbol, an arrangement made to give into Manjhi’s demand for larger representation. 

The BJP’s central election committee meeting is expected to decide the first list of candidates on Tuesday, while identifying seats for allies will take a couple of days.

Manjhi, however, will decide on the number and candidates to be loaned to the BJP. The Mahadalit leader, who rebelled from Janata Dal-United(JD-U) after he was made the chief minister, is yet to make it clear whether he will fight the polls.

The BJP president also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will the chief campaigner for the NDA in an electoral contest which the alliance wants to be pitched on its development agenda versus the rival’s “Jungle Raj – II” and the faltering economy.

Shah asked voters to “give one chance” to the new NDA as it had already tried the JD(U), Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress for the last 25 years.

“On the one side is a coalition of compulsion and forced arithmetic with little common purpose, while on the other side is an alliance with a common chemistry and similar ideology of development. Time has come for the people of Bihar to vote for development,” said Shah.

The party will also release the NDA manifesto for the five-phased polls which will be held from October 12.

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