Parties constituting the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have started pressing the Bharatiya Janata Party for an early decision on seat sharing following the JDU-RJD-Congress alliance's announcement of seat-sharing plans for the Bihar Assembly elections. JDU and RJD have decided to contest 100 seats each, while 40 seats have been given to the Congress and three to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Though the NDA's talks are likely to start next week, sources said that the BJP may settle for 150-160 seats, while the rest will go to Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM). A few seats might also be given to Pappu Yadav's Jan Adhikar Party (JAP). Quote On
LJP chairman Chirag Paswan met BJP president Amit Shah on Friday and asked him to take a decision on the matter soon. RLSP held a meeting of state office bearers on Friday and decided to approach the BJP leadership in this regard. "We will soon meet Amit Shah and request him to call a meeting of the NDA, so that a decision on seat sharing can be taken fast. Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav have taken a decision and the NDA should not delay anymore, lest it prove detrimental to the alliance," said RLSP secretary general Shivraj Singh.
Singh also said that his party was firm on its earlier formula of giving 110 seats to BJP, 76 to LJP and 67 to RLSP. "We are in favour of giving seats to Jitan Ram Manjhi's party. But all three, BJP, LJP and RLSP should give up one third of their seats for HAM. Seat allocation should be done on 'political logic'. It should not be done at the whims and fancies of any particular party," he said. The LJP is not opposed to giving seats to HAM. However, it is against inclusion of HAM leaders — MLAs Ajay Pratap, Sumit Kumar Singh, Raju Singh, Ajit Kumar and Anil Kumar — who were once part of LJP, but rebelled in 2005 to support Nitish Kumar as CM. RLSP had earlier announced its leader Upendra Kushwaha as the chief ministerial candidate of the NDA. However, it later backed off, saying it was ready to discuss the issue at the NDA forum if the BJP comes up with a candidate of its own.