Patna, Sept 15: The BJP may have to do some more firefighting to sort out the differences between its allies in Bihar, the HAM-S and LJP. After BJP's National President, Amit Shah announced the seat sharing formula for the Bihar elections there were smiling faces.
However, it is now reported that some within the Ram Vilas Paswan led LJP are not entirely happy with the number of seats that have been allotted to the Jiten Ram Manjhi led HAM-S.
The stand of the LJP over the seat sharing issue will be made public when Chirag Paswan, the son of Ram Vilas Paswan will address a press conference on Tuesday.
The LJP feels that it ought to have got more seats to contest. As per the seat sharing arrangement, the BJP will contest 160, the LJP-40, HAM-S-20 and the RSLP-23. What has upset the LJP more is that the BJP gave into the demands of Manjhi and handed out 20 seats to contest.
The LJP is of the view that Manjhi ought to have been given 13 only. The other concern for the LJP despite it being the senior ally in the NDA, the BJP conceded too much to Manjhi. The LJP is concerned over the growing clout of Manjhi.
The LJP also feels that the BJP gave away too much to the HAM-S. Manjhi had remained adamant that his party would contest in 5 seats. In addition to this he also bargained for five of his candidates fighting on the BJP symbol.
For BJP Manjhi matters
When the elections are fought in Bihar, the BJP expects that Manjhi will give them the required edge. Manjhi holds the key to at least 13 per cent of the Dalit vote share and this is a big number which the BJP cannot ignore.
He may be able to pull a majority of the Dalit voters on his side and this will be a very important number for the BJP in the long run.
Another factor that may work in Manjhi's favour is the kind of noises he had made when Nitish Kumar shunted him out of the Chief Minister's seat.
He had gone public with the statement that he was being shunted out only because he was a Dalit. This may have worked well for him in certain circles and hence the BJP would want to capitalize on it too.
BJP says no crisis
BJP sources tell OneIndia that there is no crisis. There are some concerns, we are given to understand, but it will be sorted out.
There have been deliberations over the seat sharing issue and the decisions that have been taken are in the best interest not only of the BJP, but the NDA as a whole.
We have advised our allies not to speak out in the open about such issues. The only focus now should be on winning the elections and there is no need for any of our allies to feel insecure.
At this crucial juncture, we do not want to give our opposition the advantage, the BJP leader said on condition of anonymity.