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Small roadblocks hit BJP’s Bihar seat-sharing ‘success’

The party top brass has also been unanimous on not giving much leverage to its partners in seat sharing, sensing a close fight and possibility of post-poll formulations.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
September 12, 2015 2:46:05 am

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may finally settle for 155-60 seats for the Bihar polls, leaving 35 seats for Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and 20-25 seats each to Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular HAM-S. NDA leaders are meeting in Delhi on Friday and Saturday and the seat-sharing arrangement is likely to be announced on Saturday. The BJP was earlier hinting at contesting from 170 seats.

Sources said the BJP succeeded in winning over RLSP’s Upendra Kushwaha and Jitan Ram Manjhi of HAM-S by “offering them a Rajya Sabha seat each”. The BJP is dealing with three alliance partners and does not want to “compromise with its goal of contesting” preferably 160 seats.

The party top brass has also been unanimous on not giving much leverage to its partners in seat sharing, sensing a close fight and possibility of post-poll formulations.

While Kushwaha and Manjhi have authorised BJP national president Amit Shah to decide on seat sharing in consultation with PM Narendra Modi, LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan is reportedly upset at the BJP offering him 35 seats on the logic that six seats each are being offered for a Lok Sabha seat won.

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The LJP had won six seats in the last Lok Sabha polls. However, since the LJP had contested seven Lok Sabha seats, Paswan reportedly wants seats accordingly.

A senior BJP leader, involved in the seat-sharing talks, said: “There has been a deadlock over Jamui and Chakai seats, which are represented by JD (U) rebels Sumit Kumar Singh and Ajay Pratap Singh, respectively, belonging to the Manjhi camp. While Manjhi has been giving the logic of contesting ‘sitting seats’, the Paswan camp says Chirag Paswan represents Jamui in the Lok Sabha.” Ajay and Sumit are sons of former Bihar minister and key Manjhi aide Narendra Singh, an upper caste Rajput leader from Jamui-Banka region.

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