50-50 On Bihar Seats, Announce Nitish Kumar And Amit Shah For 2019

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Nitish Kumar met BJP chief Amit Shah to discuss the 2019 elections.

Patna:

The BJP and Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United will contest the same number of seats in the 2019 general elections, the two parties announced on Friday, ending months of speculation over the prickly task of carving the state among the four members of the ruling coalition. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and BJP chief Amit Shah made the announcement after a meeting. Mr Shah said the exact number of seats will be announced in a few days.

"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," Mr Shah said.

"Upendra Kushwaha and Ram Vilas Paswan will remain with us," he said, adding that all parties have agreed to pare down ambitions to accommodate JDU which had left their alliance before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls but came back to the fold last year.

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Earlier this week, the JDU had made it clear that it won't allow its partner a numerical advantage even by one seat, striking down claims by BJP sources that they had reached a 16-17 seat deal.

Nitish Kumar — whose party won only two seats in 2014 after a split with the BJP – had long demanded parity on seats with the BJP, which won 22 seats. Later, his party said they want a "respectable" number of seats. That stand appears to have been recalibrated.

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