‘We will win more seats’: Amit Shah declares final seat-sharing in Bihar for 2019 LS polls

New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah on Sunday announced the final seat-sharing for 2019 Lok Sabha elections. While the BJP and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) will contest polls from 17 seats each, the Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party will contest elections from 6 seats.

This was announced at a press conference on Sunday at Shah’s residence in New Delhi. The announcement comes two days after a meeting between Amit Shah and Ram Vilas Paswan and Chirag Paswan on the seat-sharing deal ended on acceptable terms.

Making the announcement, BJP chief Amit Shah also said that Ram Vilas Paswan will contest for a Rajya Sabha seat from the NDA in the next Rajya Sabha elections. Amit Shah was flanked by Bihar chief minister and Janata Dal-United chief Nitish Kumar, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan as he made the announcement.

“The seat-sharing deal has been reached after keeping in mind the ground realities, the political situation of each seat in the state and the NDA’s strength,” BJP chief Amit Shah was quoted as saying in media reports.

“We will win more seats in Bihar in the 2019 elections than we had won in 2014,” Shah said.

“We will sit together with the BJP leadership and discuss the issues. We will work towards ensuring NDA’s win in 2019 elections,” said Nitish Kumar, who had been demanding an equal share of seats with the BJP.

While announcing the seat share, the BJP chief also said that the alliance would sit and decide which seats would be contested by which party and the announcement will also be made soon.

Shah had earlier announced that his party and its key ally JD(U) will be contesting equal number of seats in the politically crucial state where the BJP-led NDA had won 31 seats in 2014.

The deployment of Jaitley, an old Bihar hand in the party with friendly relations with leaders of different parties, by the BJP to buy truce with the LJP underscores the importance the saffron party has attached to continuing its alliance with Paswan’s party, which enjoys strong influence among Dalits.

Top BJP leaders, including its president Shah and Jaitley, had held an hour-long meeting with LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Thursday to resolve their differences.

Chirag Paswan had earlier written a letter to Jaitley asking him to explain what benefits demonetisation brought to the country.

He had also tweeted that a delay in seat-sharing announcement may harm the ruling alliance.