New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal (United) will contest 17 seats each and in Bihar for the forthcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections,  BJP chief Amit Shah announced on Sunday.  Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP will contest six seats.

Addressing media in presence of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Lok Janshakti Party chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Shah said that Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan will also be the Rajya Sabha candidate of the NDA. Notably, the seat-sharing deal was sealed, days after Paswan and his son Chirag met BJP leader Arun Jaitley.

Shah asserted that the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will win more than 31 seats it had in 2014 and expressed confidence that it will come back to power in 2019. The state has 40 Lok Sabha seats. The deal suggests a victory of sorts for the LJP, which had adopted an aggressive stand seeking a better bargain from the BJP after the exit of Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP from the ruling alliance.

Shah said all allies will soon decide on distribution of Lok Sabha constituencies among them for fielding their candidates in 2019.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Paswan, whose son Chirag had created a flutter with his comments seen as critical of the BJP and the central government, today claimed that there was never a problem in the alliance as he has nurtures the “NDA tree” for five years under Modi’s leadership. A government under Modi will be formed again, he said. The Dalit leader also thanked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who played a role in brokering peace between his party and the BJP.

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.