NDA’s Bihar seat-share deal: BJP, JD(U) to contest 17 seats each, LJP gets 6 in 2019 Lok Sabha elections

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) will contest on 17 seats each out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party will contest on 6 seats in the state.

This was announced at a press conference on Sunday at BJP chief Amit Shah’s residence in New Delhi. The announcement comes two days after a meeting between Amit Shah and Ram Vilas Paswan and Chirag Paswan on the seat sharing deal ended on acceptable terms.

Making the announcement, BJP chief Amit Shah also said that Ram Vilas Paswan will contest for a Rajya Sabha seat from the NDA in the next Rajya Sabha elections. Amit Shah was flanked by Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal United chief Nitish Kumar, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan as he made the announcement.

“The seat sharing deal has been reached after keeping in mind the ground realities, the political situation of each seat in the state and the NDA’s strength,” BJP chief Amit Shah said.

“We will win more seats in Bihar in the 2019 elections than we had won in 2014,” Amit Shah said.

“We will sit together with the BJP leadership and discuss the issues. We will work towards ensuring NDA’s win in 2019 elections,” said Mr Kumar, who had been demanding an equal share of seats with the BJP.

While announcing the seat share, the BJP chief also said that the alliance would sit and decide which seats would be contested by which party and the announcement will also be made soon.

The seat sharing announcement comes two days after Amit Shah met both Ram Vilas Paswan as well as Chirag Paswan of the LJP. Coming out of the meeting, Chirag Paswan had said that an announcement would be made at an appropriate time. “We have put our points before the BJP leadership and the important thing is that we are being heard. Hope everything will be fine,” Chirag told reporters.

Chirag had recently given an ultimatum to NDA to sort out seat-sharing issues in Bihar by December 31 or else it would also decide its future course of action.

In the last Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had contested from 30 seats and won 22 in Bihar, while the LJP won six seats and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), which is now a part of Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) had bagged three. In 2014, the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) had contested on its own but performed poorly. It had won only two seats.

The LJP won six out of seven seats with a vote percentage of 6.50 in 2014 Lok Sabha seats against 3.04% votes received by the RLSP. Besides, Paswan still enjoys the clout among Dalits and Mahadailts, which form 16% of Bihar’s population.

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