With 2019 Lok Sabha elections knocking at the doors, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag Paswan on Thursday hold talks with BJP national president Amit Shah in Delhi to discuss the NDA’s seat-sharing arrangement in Bihar. Earlier on Wednesday, LJP, a key constituent of the ruling NDA, pressed for finalisation of the coalition's seat-sharing arrangement in Bihar by December 31, 2018. There were also reports that Paswan's party has been upset over no headway on the seat-sharing pact despite several rounds of meeting with the BJP. Though Paswans are reportedly promised to give six seats to contest in 40-seat Bihar, they are upset about one Rajya Sabha seat in Assam that was missing in the arrangement.
Amid this growing conflict between the allies, irked, Chirag Paswan, also warned of "consequences" if "seat-sharing decisions are not settled in time". Taking a dig at the ruling BJP, the junior LJP leader remined that allies like Upendra Kushwaha and Telugu Desam Party (TDP)'s N Chandrababu Naidu are no longer parts of the NDA and so it should "address concerns of the remaining parties in a timely and proper fashion".
However, Bihar Chief Minister and JDU supremo Nitish Kumar, who is also a part of the NDA and is likely to get 50 per cent of the seats, has backed Paswans and is reportedly arriving in Delhi on Friday for talks with Amit Shah. According to sources, Nitish Kumar wants the BJP to fulfil its promises to Paswans as losing them could be major setback for the NDA, paving the path for the opposition coalition or "mahagatbandhan" in Bihar.
Paswan and Pashupati Kumar Paras are also scheduled to meet Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the issue of 2019 seat share in the national capital on Friday.
Lok Janshakti Party leaders Ram Vilas Paswan and Pashupati Kumar Paras to meet Finance Minister and BJP leader Arun Jaitley tomorrow over the issue of 2019 seat share.— ANI (@ANI) December 20, 2018
'Mahagatbandhan' refers to the Congress-RJD-led grand alliance in Bihar which is seeking to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming general election due by May.
Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha, who on December 10 broke his ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Thursday joined the Congress-RJD-led grand alliance in Bihar. Sources said, the seat-sharing arrangement between the alliance partners has already been finalised and an official announcement is likely to be made anytime soon.
Pulling out his support from the BJP-led led alliance, Kushwaha had accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of reducing the cabinet to a "rubber stamp". Kushwaha also warned smaller NDA allies to quit the BJP-led alliance, otherwise they will face the same arrogance as he and his party did.