This development comes after BJP's top leaders forced two of its allies union Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha and former Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) president Jitan Ram Manjhi to issue statements that both would accept any decision on seat sharing.

Incidentally, this stand was a significant departure from both leaders' earlier ones whereby they wanted to dictate terms to the BJP. But once the poll bugle was sounded, they surrendered to the BJP.

"Paswan-ji has made it clear to the BJP that the LJP will not contest less than 50 seats. In the last 24 hours, top BJP leaders have visited him thrice but he is adamant. We want respectful seat sharing arrangement," a senior LJP leader said.

On the other hand, BJP sources here said that the LJP might be given 40 or 40 plus seats to contest.  According to BJP leaders, the BJP would contest 160 to 165 of the 243 assembly seats and leave the remaining 83 seats to its three allies. The BJP is not ready to give more than 83 seats to the LJP, RLSP and HAM.

The BJP-led NDA was likely to formally announce the seat sharing arrangement today or tomorrow following marathon meetings in Delhi since Wednesday among top leaders of the BJP and its allies.

As per the understanding in the grand alliance, JD-U and RJD would contest 100 seats each and the Congress 40 seats.



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