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LJP shocked by seat-sharing numbers, but will not break up with NDA: Chirag Paswan

A day after the NDA sealed the seat-sharing pact in Bihar, news reports on Tuesday morning said that the LJP was not happy with the arrangement by the NDA ahead of the Bihar polls and Chirag Paswan in a press conference confirmed that the party had spoken to the BJP over the issue.

Following days of hard bargain, the BJP on Monday had sealed the 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.

Chirag and Ram Vilas Paswan.

Chirag and Ram Vilas Paswan.

Union minister Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP got 23 seats to fight in the high-stakes elections starting 12 October.

Speaking to the media Chirag said that the party had apprised BJP leadership about its "concerns" on seat sharing arrangement in Bihar.

"We are taken aback by the seat sharing announcement," Chirag said but insisted that the alliance
was intact.

He also said, "Manjhi and Kushwaha are like members of our family. The same parameters used for Manjhi, Kushwaha should have been used for us. But seat numbers isn't something we'll split with BJP on."

"LJP doesn't want to get involved in a number game. There is a little bit of disappointment among the cadre on the issue but we are not angry," he said.

Chirag also said that he was happy that the BJP leaders had heard him out over the concerns of the LJP.

"I met Amit Shah last night, he told me they will respect our concerns. The fact is our prime motive is to strengthen NDA," he said.

He also said, "The information given to us and given to the public was different. Anger is a harsh word. We were just shocked."

"The NDA alliance is a united force," Chirag added.

BJP chief Amit Shah, flanked by key alliance leaders like Paswan and Kushwaha besides Manjhi, had said on Monday that a "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 had claimed acrimony among alliance partners, especially LJP and Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (secular), was behind them and all differences sorted out.

"There is no tug of war. There is no tension. You can see their smiling faces," Shah had said, pointing to Paswan and Manjhi and sounding as much relieved as happy after finally thrashing out a seat-sharing arrangement acceptable to all the allies.

With PTI inputs

Updated Date: Sep 15, 2015 22:54 PM

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