Patna: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday managed to seal a seat-sharing deal with HAM chief and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and decided to contest the crucial assembly polls in Bihar together under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing a press conference here with Jitan Ram Manjhi, who earlier today confirmed that there was no confusion over seat-sharing, BJP chief Amit Shah said, “BJP and our three alliance partners - LJP, HAM, RLP - discussed seat-sharing arrangements and finalised it today. I want to make it clear that all differences over seat-sharing in Bihar have been fully resolved.”
BJP chief Amit Shah said that BJP will contest 160 of the 243 assembly seats, leaving 83 seats for its three allies - LJP, HAM and RLSP.
As per the agreement, it has been decided that out of 243 seats, BJP will contest on 160, LJP on 40, RLSP on 23 and Manjhi's HAM will contest on 20 seats, Shah said.
Also Read: Bihar Assembly Elections 2015 Schedule
“All constituents of the BJP-led NDA have decided to contest the Bihar polls together under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi. NDA is confident of big victory in the polls.” Shah said.
NDA is confident of winning a two-third majority in the Bihar polls. We are confident that the people of Bihar will prefer NDA over misleading and corrupt Nitish Kumar government here, the BJP chief said.
The BJP national president also took a dig at the 'grand alliance' floated by Nitish Kumar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, SP chief Mulyaam Singh Yadav and others.
The 'grand alliance' floated by Nitish and Lalu has fallen apart. One of the top leaders (Mulayam Singh) of the alliance is not with them, Shah said.
It's time that Bihar votes for development, for which voting for NDA is essential, Amit Shah said.
Attacking the Bihar Chief Minister, Shah said, “Nitish Kumar is promising crime free Bihar while allying with corrupt Congress and Lalu Prasad who is representative of 'jungle raj'”.
As far as development in Bihar is concerned I want to make it clear that Nitish Kumar's statistics are until when BJP was with him. He is misleading the people of Bihar with inaccurate facts, Shah said.
Ever since our party 'BJP' exited the Bihar govt, the state has seen the jungle rule, Shah added.
Shah said, “PM Modi had announced a special package for Bihar but Nitish Kumar did not even thank him for this.”
The announcement was made by the BJP chief shortly after Manjhi hinted that the seat-sharing issue with BJP has been ironed out.
“There is no confusion, everything is sorted,” the ANI quoted Jitan Ram Manjhi while he was on his way to meet Amit Shah at his residence where the Bihar BJP Core Group meeting was held.
Further suggesting that the factions had reached a 'sweet' deal on seat-sharing, both Manjhi and Shah were seen sharing sweets after the meeting, as per an ANI visual.
During the final announcement on the seat-sharing arrangement, BJP chief Shah and leaders of NDA allies - Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Upendra Kushwaha-led (RLSP) and Manjhi (HAM-S) were also present.
Amit Shah, Bhupendra Yadav, Ananth Kumar, Jitan Manjhi, Narendra Singh, Shakuni Chaudhari were also present at the meeting held at Shah's residence a short while ago.
BJP president Amit Shah reportedly cancelled his Mysore visit to resolve the crisis after Manjhi's associates threatened to reconsider continuing in the alliance if a "respectable" offer was not made.
Earlier, Manjhi was said to be miffed after he was offered 13-15 seats by the BJP and sought to draw a parity with Paswan's LJP, which was tipped to get around 40 seats.
The entire issue was solved after a hectic day of talks on Sunday as negotiations continued till late night.
A seat sharing agreement was said to have been reached at a meeting BJP's incharge for Bihar assembly elections and Union minister Ananth Kumar and party general secretary in-charge of the state Bhupendra Yadav had with Hindustani Avam Morcha (secular) leader Manjhi at Bihar Niwas.
After the late night confabulation, a HAM(S) leader claimed 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.
Meanwhile, BJP's Central Election Committee is likely to meet on Tuesday to decide on its candidates for the elections.
The five-phase polling for the 243-member assembly begins from October 12 and concludes on November 5.
With PTI Inputs