BJP, allies finalise seat sharing for Bihar; Manjhi settles at 20

After days of stalemate, the BJP today finally clinched the deal with its allies over seat sharing for Bihar Assembly election by bringing former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustan Awami Morcha (HAM) on board.

Mr Manjhi's party has been given 20 seats as demanded by him.

The BJP will contest 160 seats of the 243 seats, the LJP 40 seats and the RLSP 23 seats. Some of HAM workers will contest on the BJP symbol.

Announcing the final seat distribution among the allies, BJP President Amit Shah told a press conference here that 'We are confident that we will get two thirds majority.'

In an obvious reference to the desertion by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav from the Janata Parivar alliance, Mr Shah said, 'The Grand alliance had already been disintegrated'.

He said Bihar needed a government that could work in cooperation with the Centre to take the state forward. The people of Bihar had given chance to all parties-Congress, RJD and JD(U), and it was high time that they should allow NDA to prove itself, the BJP President said.

The delay in announcement took place as Mr Manjhi was said to be protesting against a major share of seats going to the LJP, which had performed poorly in 2010 assembly election by getting just 3 seats out of 75 contested, though it had improved its performance in the last Lok Sabha election by bagging six of the 7 seats contested by it.

Mr Manjhi was reportedly being offered 15 seats which was not acceptable to him. He was also not happy with the reported offer of 25 seats to the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party(RLSP), with just three MPs in the Lok Sabha.

The Mahadalit leader is said to have claimed that his party represented more number of assembly seats in Bihar than those by the RSLP -- a breakaway outfit from the Janata Dal (United) which largely represents the Other Backward Class(OBC) voters in the state. The five-phase election to the Bihar Assembly would be held from October 12 to November 5.

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