New Delhi: Putting an end to the seat sharing issue, which has of late remained the bone of contention among the NDA allies in Bihar, party president Amit Shah on Friday announced that the BJP and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) will fight on equal number of seats for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“It has been decided that BJP and JDU will fight on equal number of seats for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 in Bihar. Other allies will also get a respectable seat share. Numbers will be announced in a few days,” said Amit Shah.

On questions whether RLSP and LJP will join the alliance, Shah said, “Upendra Kushwaha and Ram Vilas Paswan will remain with us. When a new ally has joined us, there will be a reduction in seat share for everyone”.

The development comes a major victory for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who had demanded a “respectable” seat share for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Bihar.

BJP Heads For Tightrope Walk as Bihar Allies Flex Muscles Over Seat Sharing For 2019 Elections

BJP Heads For Tightrope Walk as Bihar Allies Flex Muscles Over Seat Sharing For 2019 Elections

On Tuesday, it was reported that the BJP and JD(U) have agreed upon a 17-16 deal in the 40-member strong Bihar Assembly. The reports suggested that Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP will get five seats and Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP will get two seats.

However, a day later, Kumar’s party showed rigidity on not allowing the BJP a numerical advantage even by one seat. Paswan’s JLP and Kushwaha’s RLSP also made it clear that they will not accept the reported offer of seat share.

BJP sources had said that in case Kushwaha, the restive ally, decides to walk out of the alliance, the two seats earmarked for his RLSP will be equally divided between the two major allies, reports added.

Last month, the JD(U) had reportedly expressed its disagreement over the BJP’s proposal of ’20-20’ seat-sharing formula for its allies in Bihar for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Under the formula, the BJP was keen on contesting 20 of the state’s 40 seats, while leaving 12 seats for JD(U), six for Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP and two for Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP.

With today’s announcement, the BJP has taken the biggest hit bringing its current share of 22 seats down by a considerable level. In 2014, the saffron party had contested 30 Lok Sabha seats and won on 22.