Bhagalpur (Bihar): A day after two of its allies said seat sharing in Bihar must conclude within a week, a BJP leader announced on Tuesday that his party will contest 170 of the 243 assembly seats.
"The BJP will contest nearly 170 seats, there is no question of anything less than that," Ashwani Kumar Choubey, an MP and a former minister, said here.
Choubey was replying to statements from leaders of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) that the BJP must contest only 102 seats and leave the remaining 141 to its three allies.
"There is no one in the country to advise the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi about seat sharing within the NDA," said Choubey, a votary of Hinduvta politics.
The third BJP ally, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, on Tuesday said the BJP should contest only 122 seats.
"They must distribute the remaining seats among its three allies to defeat the grand alliance of JD-U, RJD and Congress," HAM leader Brishen Patel said.
Patel asked the LJP and RLSP to "behave gently" to ensure the defeat of the Nitish Kumar-Lalu Prasad combine.
The LJP and the RLSP on Monday expressed unhappiness over the delay in finalisation of seats among the BJP and its allies in the assembly elections.
"We want the seat sharing arrangement to be over and done before the election are announced in the first week of September," LJP state president Pasupati Kumar Paras said at a press conference also attended by RLSP state presidnet Arun Kumar.
"It will provide enough time for candidates to campaign," he said.
The LJP and RLSP are unhappy over the BJP slogan - "Abki bar Bhajpa sarkar".
According to them, it was wrong to raise such a slogan as the next government in the state would be formed by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Paras said the BJP was delaying seat sharing though the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) had announced their seat sharing and virtually given ticket to their candidates.
RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha says his party wants to contest from 67 seats. He said the LJP should get 74 seats.
BJP president Amit Shah announced earlier this year that his party wanted to contest and win 185 of the 243 seats.
The RJD and the JD-U have decided to contest 100 seats each, leaving 40 to the Congress and three to the Nationalist Congress Party.