Patna, Sep 11: The Bharatiya Janata Party is expected to contest between 170 seats in the forthcoming Bihar assembly elections. The rest of the seats will be divided between the allies.
This is most likely to be the final decision as the allies have agreed to the numbers. The BJP's Ananth Kumar who is in charge of Bihar met with both Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitan Ram Manjhi and sorted out issues relating to sharing of seats.
Paswan is understood to have agreed to contest 35 seats while Manjhi's party would fight in 18 constituencies. The remaining seats in the 243 member assembly would be contested by the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, BJP sources informed OneIndia.
However these are tentative numbers, a BJP leader informed while adding that a final call would be taken after a meeting in New Delhi today.
Chief Ministerial aspirations
The BJP has made it clear to its allies that it would contest a major chunk of the seats. It has said that the elections are being fought on the development plank of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While the allies have agreed that the elections would be led by both Modi and Amit Shah, there are a few who will still ask for more seats to contest.
For instance, Upendra Khushwaha's RLSP is not entirely happy with the number of seats they have been offered. Khushwaha is an aspirant for the post of Bihar Chief Minister and hence feels that his party should get more seats to contest.
The RLSP is expecting at least 50 seats. There are feelers sent even by Ram Vilas Paswan who is nurturing ambitions to become the Chief Minister.
The BJP is however unlikely to hand over the post of CM to any of the allies. There would be no decision on the Chief Ministerial candidate taken now. In the previous elections, we have fought in the name of Modi and it would be the same here, BJP sources informed.
Allies will stick with BJP
Although there may be bickering here and there where the number of seats to contest are concerned, the allies have assured to stick together. [Pics: Know about heavyweight politicians of Bihar]
Manjhi who had made a lot of noise in the past couple of days will be given 18 seats to contest. Manjhi who is making a debut with his party, HAM-S yesterday said that the differences had been sorted out.
After a verbal attack on Paswan the two made up while on a flight to New Delhi.
The same opinion has been expressed by the rest of the allies too. They would not want to walk out of the alliance at this juncture and rock the ship. Whatever the issues are it will be sorted out, RLSP leaders say.
Meanwhile BJP's National President Amit Shah is expected to meet with his party leaders from Bihar and then hold a meeting with the allies before a final call on seat sharing is taken.