BJP tries to placate Manjhi, work out poll arithmetic
Union Minister Ananth Kumar, who is the party’s in-charge for Bihar polls, met Manjhi, who is camping in New Delhi, to iron out the creases. Other leaders like Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and party general secretary Bhupendra Yadav also met Manjhi intensifying the efforts to bring him on board. The BJP has finalised <g data-gr-id="34">seat sharing</g> formula with two other allies — Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP and Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP. Both Paswan and Kushwaha are ministers in the Narendra Modi government.
Sources in HAM claimed the party was on Sunday offered 18 seats, three more than the 15 offered to it on Saturday and that they were hopeful of a positive outcome. HAM has been demanding 25 seats as it strives to get recognition as a state party. The BJP has also offered that five of the HAM’s outgoing MLAs could contest on Lotus symbol.
The differences, sources said, remained on the over-lapping of seats between HAM and other NDA allies. “There are some issues related largely to personal grouses of some of the HAM leaders, <g data-gr-id="36">hopefully</g> they would come around,” said a BJP leader. While the BJP plans to contest in around 160 seats out of a total of 243 seats, the RLSP of Upendra Kushwaha is being offered 25 seats while Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party around 40.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Manjhi’s son Praveen was detained by the police in Bihar on Sunday after he was allegedly found carrying Rs 4.65 lakh cash in a car. During routine checking of vehicles in the run-up to the Assembly elections, the police intercepted the car at Gaya-Jehanabad check post near <g data-gr-id="38">Umta</g> village and seized Rs 4.65 lakh in cash from Manjhi’s son Praveen Kumar, who was on his way to Patna from Gaya, sub-divisional police officer Mohammed Ashfaq Ansari said.
Kumar was detained and taken to Makdumpur police station for questioning after he failed to explain
why he was carrying so much cash, he said.
Taking potshots at the NDA over seat sharing, the Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said when there was alliance “minus any principal and for opportunism, such things happen”.
“This is the beginning of the contradiction. Let us see what is in store next. Such alliances based on personal ambition and lust for power do not survive. When you go for such alliances, these contradictions come out, which are the beginning of the end. People will give a befitting reply to them,” Singhvi said.