The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) announced its seat-sharing arrangements for 2019 Lok Sabha elections on Sunday. BJP president Amit Shah has announced that Janata Dal (United) and BJP will contest on an equal number of seats — 17 each while six seats to the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) will contest on 6 seats. Amit Shah also announced that LJP chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan will get a Rajya Sabha berth in the upcoming elections to the Upper House. Shah made the announcement here in the presence of JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and LJP chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan. The discussions over seat sharing between the allies had been underway for months now. Bihar sends 40 MPs to the Lok Sabha.
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BJP President Amit Shah: BJP will fight at 17 seats, Janata Dal (United) at 17 and Lok Janshakti Party at 6 seats in Bihar in upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections pic.twitter.com/58hBFvCABr— ANI (@ANI) December 23, 2018
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after announcing seat sharing for 2019 general elections said, "We are committed to development in Bihar. We are of the opinion that the Ram Mandir matter should be solved through a court decision." “Keeping in mind the stature and seniority of LJP supremo, he would be nominated to the Rajya Sabha at availability of first vacancy,’ said Nitish Kumar.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after announcing seat sharing for 2019 general elections: We are committed to development in Bihar. We are of the opinion that the Ram Mandir matter should be solved through a court decision. pic.twitter.com/bOvRDLhz1z— ANI (@ANI) December 23, 2018
The decision was finalised after LJP chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, along with his son Chirag Paswan, held a series of discussions with the BJP president. Amit Shah had earlier also said that his party and its key ally JD(U) will be contesting on an equal number of seats.
Earlier, Upendra Kushwaha, the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief, quit as a Union minister and pulled out his support from the BJP-led led alliance, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of reducing the Cabinet to a "rubber stamp". Kushwaha had also warned smaller NDA allies that they will also face the same arrogance as he did.
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Upendra Kushwaha joined the Congress-RJD-led Grand Alliance in Bihar. Speaking to the media, Kushwaha had said, "We had said that we have many options and UPA was one of them. The wholeheartedness shown by Rahul Gandhi and Lalu Prasad is one of the reasons I joined but the biggest reason I'm here is the people of Bihar". In the 2014 general elections, the JD(U) had contested elections independently while the BJP allied with the LJP and RLSP.