New Delhi: Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan said Sunday that the BJP-led NDA would remain intact in Bihar as he expressed confidence that his party would get to contest “respectable number” of seats in the state.
Paswan, son of LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan and the party’s parliamentary board chief, had met Amit Shah on Thursday, a day before the BJP president’s meeting with JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar, in which they made the announcement that the two parties will fight on an equal number of seats.
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) sources told PTI that Shah has spoken to allies including Chirag Paswan and RLSP’s Upendra Kushwaha as he works to announce a seat-sharing arrangement among the four partners — including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) — in a few days.
The BJP chief spoke to Kushwaha as he stirred the political scene by meeting Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on Friday.
The LJP has reconciled to the prospect of fighting less than seven seats that it had contested in 2014, with a top party leader pointing out that the saffron party is itself making a sacrifice to accommodate the JD(U), which was not an NDA member in the last Lok Sabha polls.
The sources said the LJP may contest five seats.
Declining to comment on the number of seats his party may contest, Chirag Paswan said, “Talks are going on in positive direction. I am confident that we will fight on respectable number of seats.”
The NDA, he asserted, will remain intact in Bihar.
The party has six MPs in the lower house.
The RLSP had contested three seats in 2014 and won all of them.
The BJP is unlikely to agree to giving it more than two seats.
With contours of seat-sharing arrangement still evolving as BJP general secretary and its Bihar in-charge Bhupendra Yadav holds talks with allies, the sources said the BJP, JD(U), LJP and RLSP may contest 16, 16, five and two seats respectively.
Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha seats and one Independent may be accommodated in either Muzaffarpur or Jehanabad.
Following a meeting with Kumar, Shah had announced on Friday that the BJP and the JD(U) would contest equal number of Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2019.
The BJP had contested 30 of the state’s 40 seats in the 2014 general elections and won 22.
Shah had said that all parties will get to fight less number of seats than last time to accommodate Kumar.