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Seat sharing for Bihar election sorted, says Manjhi

In a late night development on Sunday, Manjhi is learnt to have clinched a seat sharing agreement for the polls with a HAM(S) leader claiming the saffron party has agreed to allot about 20 seats to it.

September 14, 2015 / 11:50 AM IST

The core group of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be meeting on Monday to resolve the resolve the seat sharing crisis for National Democratic Alliance ahead of Bihar elections. An announcement on the same is likely to be made on Monday.


Manjhi, who is meeting Amit Shah in Delhi on Monday, sounded confident before going in for talks with the BJP president. "There is no confusion, everything is sorted. We may make an announcement today," he said.


In a late night development on Sunday, Manjhi is learnt to have clinched a seat sharing agreement for the polls with a HAM(S) leader claiming the saffron party has agreed to allot about 20 seats to it.

Though there was no official confirmation about this from BJP, a party leader said, "All is well and a positive outcome is expected."


Manjhi feels that his party needs to contest at least 10% of the total number of assembly seats to be considered a regional player.


BJP president Amit Shah, party sources said, cancelled his Mysore visit on Sunday to oversee the negotiations. Manjhi was said to be unhappy 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. Those privy to the talks said BJP wanted to contest around 160 of the state's 243 seats, leaving 25 for RLSP.

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LJP and RLSP have agreed to the seat-sharing formula brought forth by BJP but a final announcement has been delayed due Manjhi's disagreement with it, sources said. Manjhi on Saturday met Shah at the latter's residence twice.


Meanwhile, BJP's Central Election Committee is likely to meet on Tuesday to decide on its candidates for the elections. Manjhi and his aides held a series of meetings with BJP leaders including Kumar, Yadav and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan through the day.


Manjhi's associates on Saturday had threatened to reconsider continuing in the alliance if a "respectable" offer was not made after BJP agreed to spare 13-15 seats for them.


BJP sources said a Central Election Committee meeting was likely to be held on September 15 as BJP is keen on announcing the names of its nominees at least for seats which go to polls in the first few phases. The five-phase polling for the 243-member assembly begins from October 12 and concludes on November 5.


A final announcement on the seat sharing arrangement between BJP and its three allies - Ram Vilas Paswan' LJP, Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP and Manjhi's HAM(S) - has been held up after Manjhi played hardball.

Though BJP has a strong Dalit ally in Paswan, it wants Manjhi on its side in the high-stakes state elections to bring in the Mahadalit votes.

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