NEW DELHI, Sept 14 - Following days of hard bargain, the BJP today sealed a seat-sharing pact for the Bihar Assembly polls with its allies under which it will contest 160 of the 243 seats, while sparing 20 for Mahadalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi�s HAM(S), besides 40 for Ram Vilas Paswan�s LJP.
Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha�s RLSP got 23 seats to fight in the high-stakes elections starting October 12.
Flanked by key alliance leaders like Paswan and Kushwaha, besides Manjhi, BJP chief Amit Shah said an �united� NDA was on its way to securing two-thirds majority in the State against the �crumbling� alliance of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Congress. Presenting a united face, Shah claimed acrimony among alliance partners, especially LJP and Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (secular), was behind them and all differences sorted out.
�There is no tug of war. There is no tension. You can see their smiling faces,� Shah said, pointing to Paswan and Manjhi and sounding as much relieved as happy after finally thrashing out a seat-sharing arrangement acceptable to all the allies. � PTI