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Bhagalpur awaits Modi show; NDA to discuss seat sharing with PM after mega rally

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hagalpur :After making forceful demands over their share of seats in the coming Bihar election, BJP allies today put up a united front at the maiden NDA meeting chaired by BJP president Amit Shah where the crucial issue did not figure.

LJP chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan who was fielded by BJP to brief media after the over 90-minute long meeting said the announcement on seat-sharing is likely to be made in a week and ruled out any conflict among the allies.

“As far as division of seats is concerned, it will be announced in a most amicable manner soon. It was not discussed today. We talked about our campaign and NDA will win with two-thirds majority in Bihar,” he said.
Asked about his party’s and RLSP demand that BJP should contest only 102 seats and leave 142 to its allies, Paswan brushed it aside and said NDA leaders had decided that no statement on the issue will be made by various leaders and only authorised party persons will speak.

Dubbing the RJD-JD(U) rally in Patna yesterday a “flop show”, Paswan said it was an “insult” for Congress chief Sonia Gandhi who was made to speak before Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad.

RLSP leader Upendra Kushwaha, whose party has been most vocal and had even demanded that he be declared the NDA’s chief ministerial candidate, said the alliance would speak in one voice and their foremost priority was a big victory.

The meeting also decided to give a fillip to joint campaigning by NDA parties and that the campaign material of different constituents should give space to the rest of the allies.

Former Chief Minister and HAM (Secular) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi said an announcement on the seat-sharing was expected by September 6-7.

They said the allies will hold talks over it after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Bhagalpur today.

Asked who would be their chief ministerial candidate, Paswan said “any A, B, C” picked by Modi will be accepted to them.

The Patel agitation in Gujarat for reservation and its leader Hardik Patel was also discussed in the meeting, Manjhi said.

Though he did not elaborate, but sources said alliance leaders spoke about Nitish Kumar’s early support to him. “Some of us said that Hardik had mentioned Raj Thackarey as his favourite leader. It shows what kind of leader he is,” they said.

Bihar BJP leader Sushil Modi said there were no differences among the allies and that the Prime Minister’s three rallies in the state had so far attracted over 10 lakh people while the joint show of the grand alliance yesterday was no match to any of his rallies.

PTI