Delhi: Following days of hard bargain, BJP on Monday sealed a seat sharing pact for the Bihar Assembly polls with its allies under which it will contest 160 of the 243 seats, while sparing 20 for Mahadalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM(S), besides 40 for Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP.
Union minister Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP got 23 seats to fight in the high-stakes elections starting October 12.
Flanked by key alliance leaders like Paswan and Kushwaha besides Manjhi, BJP chief Amit Shah said an "united" NDA was on its way to securing two-thirds majority in the state against the "crumbling" alliance of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Congress.
Presenting a united face, Shah claimed acrimony among alliance partners, especially LJP and Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (secular), was behind them and all differences sorted out.
However, if reports are to be believed then all is not well within the NDA fold.
Media reports said that Paswan was not too happy with the 40 seats that he had got and wanted to contest on 42 seats.
Reports also said that the LJP feels that Manjhi's HAM and Kushwaha's RLSP got a better deal than them.
Playing hardball, Manjhi had for days refused to settle for BJP's offer of 13-15 seats.
Manjhi persistently targeted Paswan, claiming he enjoyed better clout with Dalit voters.
When addressing the press in the national capital, BJP president did say, “There is no tug of war. There is no tension. You can see their smiling faces,” as per PTI.
However, it will be clear in the coming days whether all is well withing the NDA or is there some undercurrents brewing.
(With Agency inputs)