New Delhi: As negotiations among NDA partners continues for Bihar polls, former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi today played down differences with the BJP over the number of seats offered to him saying he was “not upset”. Sources in Manjhi-led Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) claimed the party was today offered more number of seats than what was on the platter yesterday and appeared hopeful of a positive outcome as senior BJP functionaries including Union Minister Ananth Kumar, who is party’s in-charge for Bihar polls, met him here.
Intensifying the efforts to placate Manjhi, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Bhupendra Yadav also met Manjhi to bring him on board on the seat sharing formulae after BJP resolved the issue with two other allies-Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP and Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP.
With Manjhi sticking to his demand for more seats yesterday, finalisation of a seat-sharing arrangements by BJP with its allies for the assembly polls in the state had eluded even after hectic consultations. According to sources, Manjhi had yesterday met BJP President Amit Shah at the latter’s residence twice and held seat-sharing talks.
Manjhi was learnt to have expressed unhappiness over the 15-odd seats offered to HAM yesterday. HAM was offered around 15 seats and the five outgoing MLAs owing allegiance to him have been asked to contest on BJP tickets. While BJP plans to contest on around 160 seats out of a total of 243 seats, RLSP is being offered 25 seats while Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party around 40, it is learnt.
After Manjhi’s disapproval over seats offered to him, BJP Bihar core group had held its meeting late last evening. Taking potshots at the NDA over the seat sharing wrangling, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said when there is alliance “minus any principal and for opportunism”, such things happen.”
“This is the beginning of the contradiction. Let us see what is in store next. Such alliances based on personal ambition and lust for power do not survive. “When you go for such alliances, these contradictions come out, which are the beginning of an end. People will give a befitting reply to them,” Singhvi said.