New Delhi, Oct 26: The BJP and JD-U will contest an equal number of seats in the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar next year under a seat-sharing formula agreed to between the two sides, BJP President Amit Shah and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced after talks between them on Friday.
While Shah and Kumar announced seat agreement, RJD Leader Tejaswi Yadav met Union Minister and RLSP Chief Upendra Kushwaha at Arwal circuit guest house. RLSP is part of NDA
The other alies -- LJP headed by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and RLSP headed by another Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha -- would be given "respectable number of seats", Shah told the media with Nitish Kumar by his side. What remains to be seen is whether the other two allies will agree to the formula. The two parties have made it clear that they would agree to anything less than the 2014 formula.The talks between the two leaders followed a separate meeting between Nitish Kumar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Both Shah and Nitish Kumar said the details of the number of seats and the constituencies from which the parties would contest would be made public in two or three days.Shah said discussions would be held with LJP and RLSP on the number of seats to be contested by them. In 2014, the JD-U contested the Lok Sabha polls alone."When a new fried has joined, the number of seats for each will come down," Shah said.Of the 40 Lok Sabha seats, the BJP had won 22, LJP 6 and RLSP 3 as part of the NDA alliance. The JD-U had bagged only two seats.Shah said there was agreement that the alliance would contest under the leadership of Modi and form the government at the Centre after the 2019 elections. Nitish Kumar, Paswan and Sushil Modi, the Deputy Chief Minister, will lead the campaign in Bihar.Shah expressed confidence that the NDA would win more seats in Bihar in 2019 than in 2014.Earlier, reports on the basis of sources in the BJP and JD-U, as per seat sharing formula BJP had agreed to contest 17 of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, the JD-U 16, LJP five and RLSP two seats.Both the LJP and RLSP leaders have repeatedly said that they would not contest seats less than what they had contested in 2014 Lok Sabha polls as allies of NDA.LJP contested from seven seats and won six seats and RLSP contested three seats and won two seats.The BJP contested from 30 seats in 2014 and won 22 seats.In 2014, the Janata Dal-United contested on its own but performed poorly. It was only two seats.News24 Bureau/IANS