New Delhi, Sep 14: Putting an end to speculations, the NDA on Monday made a formal announcement regarding seat sharing for the Bihar elections.
After constant meetings pertaining to seat sharing with its allies, BJP president Amit Shah announced, "BJP will contest on 160 seats, LJP on 40 seats, RLSP on 23 seats and HAM on 20 seats while a few other HAM candidates will contest on BJP ticket."
Announcing the decision after days of hectic parleys, BJP chief Amit Shah, who was flanked by other key leaders of the alliance like LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Manjhi, stressed that there is "no tug of war" among the four NDA constituents over the seat sharing agreement for the next month's polls.
"BJP and our three alliance partners discussed seat sharing and decided on it today. No differences among us, we're all sitting here with smiles. Will contest polls under Modiji's leadership," Amit Shah told at the press conference.
Shah also chose the occasion to appeal to workers of all the four NDA allies to fight the elections together to ensure a resounding victory for the alliance against the Nitish Kumar led JD(U)-RJD-Congress coalition.
Expressing confidence that the NDA will come to power in the key state, Shah accused Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of "backstabbing" the BJP by breaking the 17-year-long alliance in 2013 and castigated him for aligning with Congress and RJD.
Noting that the people of Bihar have given a chance to all three parties Congress, RJD and JD(U) to rule the state, Shah said, "We appeal to people of Bihar to give one chance to NDA" and promised to realise the dream of the state's development if BJP is voted to power.
The BJP chief rejected suggestions of any "ill-treatment" to Manjhi.
Manjhi kept the BJP on tenterhooks for days but the two sides clinched the seat sharing agreement last night at a meeting BJP's incharge for Bihar assembly elections and Union minister Ananth Kumar and party general secretary incharge of the state Bhupendra Yadav had with Manjhi at Bihar Niwas.
After the late night confabulation, a HAM(S) leader had claimed that under the arrangement worked out at the meeting the party would get to field about 20 candidates, while five others would contest on BJP's symbol. Earlier, a miffed Manjhi is understood to have sought parity with Paswan's LJP.
Manjhi's associates had on Saturday threatened to reconsider continuing in the alliance if a "respectable" offer was not made after BJP agreed to spare 13-15 seats for them. The HAM leader had met Shah at the latter's residence twice on Saturday.
The five-phase polling for the 243-member assembly begins from October 12 and concludes on November 5.
(With inputs from agencies)