NEW DELHI: Sulking over NDA allies HAM and RLSP having got a "better deal" under the seat sharing formula for Bihar polls announced yesterday, LJP today called truce after a string of meetings with top BJP leaders but insisted "there is no smoke without fire".
Notwithstanding claims of an amicable seat sharing arrangement having been reached among NDA partners for the assembly polls, discontent was brewing in Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP over allotment of 40 seats to it. LJP sources said there was a feeling in the party that Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and RLSP of Union minister Upendra Kushwaha had got a "better deal" which was disproportionate to their political clout in the state.
BJP chief Amit Shah had yesterday announced a seat sharing formula for Bihar assembly elections under which the alliance spearhead will contest 160 of the state's 243 seats, LJP 40, RLSP 23 and HAM 20.
"There was no anger but discontent as there was a difference between the seat sharing formula we were told about earlier and what was announced yesterday. So we were taken aback. "We were not angry but definitely there were concerns in the party. We were shocked. There is no smoke without fire," LJP Parliamentary Board Chairman Chirag Paswan told a press conference.
Chirag, a Lok Sabha MP and son of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who had a midnight meeting with Amit Shah late last night to iron out the differences, said the BJP chief told him there are certain "complusions in caolition dharma" and that he will try to accommodate the concerns of the LJP "as much as possible".
"We have apprised the BJP chief about about our concerns. We are happy that our concerns have been honoured and we are moving towards a solution," Chirag said.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also called on the LJP chief in the morning after which he downplayed the reports of continued differences, saying NDA accords due respect to suggestions of Paswan.
"Ram Vilas Paswan ji a leader of stature," he said, recalling that leaders of all NDA allies had yesterday said they would work together to ensure the victory of the ruling alliance in Bihar assembly polls.
"There was no such demand (about more seats)....Nobody said any such thing (when Shah announced the seat sharing pact)," he said when asked whether the LJP was angry as it wanted more seats.