The BJP is set to contest the major chunk of the electoral seats (170 out of 243 seats) in the upcoming Bihar assembly polls, leaving a measly 73 seats for its three allies– LJP, HAM and RLSP.
According to informed sources, the maximum of 40 seats is likely to go to Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, followed by 20 seats to Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, and 13 seats to former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular).
However, the offer raised by Union minister Ananth Kumar, election in-charge of Bihar, during meetings with Kushwaha and Manjhi separately at his official residence to discuss the seat-sharing formula, has not gone down well with Kushwaha and Manjhi, though they have publicly refrained from conveying their unhappiness.
Bharatiya Janata Party’s general secretary in-charge of Bihar Bhupendra Yadav was also in attendance during the meeting.
During the meeting, BJP decided a broad formula in which, each party would get 6-7 assembly seats in its share for every parliamentary constituency in its kitty.
The idea was opposed by Manjhi as his party has no parliament member, and instead, he pitched for seats as per numbers in the present assembly.
Manjhi has 13 MLAs whereas Paswan has no members in the assembly. As per the formula, the BJP, which has 22 MPs in Bihar, was likely to get around 170 seats.
Paswan’s LJP with six MPs is likely to get around 40 seats and Kushwaha’s RLSP with three MPs is expected to get around 20 seats.
The BJP has offered 13 seats to Manjhi as his party has 13 MLAs.
Meanwhile, BJP president Amit Shah is expected to take a final call on the seat-sharing formula.
“A letter has been written to Amit Shah that he should decide the seat-sharing at the earliest. We hope that the BJP would do justice to the seat sharing, keeping all the parties in view. We will accept the decision taken by the BJP,” Kushwaha said, soon after meeting Ananth Kumar.
Manjhi also reposed confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah after Ananth Kumar said the decision over seat sharing between the BJP and its allies would be taken in the next 2-3 days.
“Whatever decision the prime minister and the BJP president take, it will be okay with us. We have decided that whatever is in favour of Bihar and the NDA, that route will be taken,” said Manjhi.
According to sources, the seat sharing announcement will be made in Patna after convening a meeting of the NDA leaders in a day or two.
Polls in the 243-member Bihar assembly will be held in five phases starting October 12 and ending on November 5. Counting of votes will take place on November 8.
(With inputs from IANS)