New Delhi, Dec 23: Ending days of speculation, all three NDA constituents in Bihar - BJP, JD (U) and Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP on Sunday sealed their deal and decided to contest the 2019 parliamentary polls in Bihar in unity.
"Agla jo chunae ayega, NDA ka phire sey sarkar banegi (In next parliamentary polls, it is the NDA combine which will come to power yet again)," asserted Union Food Minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan in presence of BJP chief Amit Shah and JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Mr Shah said while BJP and JD(U) would contest 17 seats each, the remaining six seats in Bihar would go to the LJP share. Mr Paswan said: "Chirag Paswan (his son) had decided in 2014 to come to NDA. We nurtured the alliance under the leadership of Narendra Modiji and in next polls, NDA government will return to power".
BJP chief Mr Shah said: "Besides the seat share for the Lok Sabha polls, it has been decided that Mr Paswan will be accommodated as the Rajya Sabha MP as an NDA nominee in immediate polls to the Upper House".
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also said that Mr Paswan will be accommodated in the Upper House "due to his seniority and long time contribution". Apparently a section of BJP leaders were not in favour of committing the Rajya Sabha berth to Mr Paswan, who is representing Hajipur parliamentary seat in Bihar for 10th term.
Mr Paswan is also known in the political circle as 'bellwether' of coalition politics as he has managed to ensure cabinet berth for himself under all Prime Ministers since the time of H D Deve Gowda in 1996.
"Aisa kucch tha nahi (For last few days many things were being speculated about; but there was nothing much)," Mr Paswan said about the pressure tactics mounted by him and his lawmaker son Chirag Paswan on the BJP. UNI