Amid speculations of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan joining the Congress-RJD-led grand alliance in Bihar, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), in a bid to calm down its ally, on Friday offered five Lok Sabha seats to the LJP in Bihar and one in Uttar Pradesh, said sources.
The development came a day after Paswan and his son Chirag Paswan held talks with BJP national president Amit Shah in New Delhi to discuss the NDA’s seat-sharing arrangement in Bihar. On Wednesday, the LJP, the key constituent of the ruling NDA, pressed for finalisation of the seat-sharing arrangement by December 31. There were reports that Paswan's party had been upset over no headway on the seat-sharing pact despite several rounds of meeting with the BJP.
Being irked over the delay in the seat-sharing process, Chirag Paswan, also warned of "consequences" if "seat-sharing decisions are not settled in time". Taking a dig at the ruling BJP, junior Paswan reminded 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".
Post that, speculations had been rife that the LJP is likely to join the "mahagatbandhan" (grand alliance) in Bihar, stepping into the shoes of the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha. Kushwaha on December 10, broke his ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and joined the Congress-RJD-led grand alliance in Bihar.
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.
Earlier, the BJP declared that the Nitish Kumar-led JD-U, another part of the NDA, would contest in 50 per cent of the seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.