Paswan silent over Bihar seat-sharing

Paswan silent over Bihar seat-sharing

Ram Vilas Paswan. PTI/FILE

Amid tension within the NDA over the sharing of seats for the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has maintained silence.

"Let us give this issue a pass for now," he said on Monday when the media asked for his comment on the ongoing tussle within the NDA over the sharing of seats.

Paswan's refusal to talk over the issue comes a day after his cabinet colleague and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha met him and discussed the vexed issue of seat-sharing in Bihar for the Lok Sabha elections.

Read also: Paswan may not contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls

Kushwaha, who is "upset" with the 50-50 seat sharing agreement between the BJP and the JD-U, called on the LJP chief on Tuesday evening hours after he announced his party's decision to field over 100 candidates to contest the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh.

The ruling BJP is fighting with its back against the wall in Madhya Pradesh, facing an 15-year anti-incumbency and a united Opposition.

According to party sources, the RLSP has placed a demand before the BJP to share four seats with it — three in Bihar and one in Jharkhand — for Lok Sabha polls in 2019 even as the saffron party has conveyed to the RLSP chief that it would not be possible to give more than two seats to his party.

"Talks are still going on. We are hopeful of the BJP agreeing to our demand," an RLSP leader, however, said.

The LJP, which had won six seats in Bihar in the last Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the BJP and RLSP, is likely to get five seats for the Lok Sabha elections next year.

There is a buzz within the NDA that the LJP may be offered a Rajya Sabha nomination to make the adjustments with Paswan ageing and battling health issues.