After the JD (U) President Nitish Kumar and BJP President Amit Shah declared on October 25 that both JD (U) and BJP would be contesting and BJP would be contesting equal number of seats, leaving other two allies of the NDA, Chirag Paswan of LJP and Upendra Kushwaha of RLSP, worries. Even though Amit Shah has announced that they would come up with the number of seats for these parties in the next 2-3 days, sources have told Republic TV that out of the 40 seats, the JD (U) and BJP plan to contest 17 seats each, leaving 4 for LJP and 2 seats for RLSP.
The LJP had contested 7 seats in 2014 and won 6 seats and this time they are seeking at least 6 seats. But the BJP reportedly is offering the LJP four seat and a Rajya Sabha berth for Ram Vilas Paswan from a BJP-ruled state. Now, Ram Vilas Paswan's son and LJP Parliamentary board's Chairman Chirag Paswan, who is holding negotiations with BJP President Amit Shah for seat-sharing, has said that he does not want his father and LJP Chief Ram Vilas Paswan to contest the Lok Sabha polls and instead be nominated to Rajya Sabha.
"I want my father to be nominated as Rajya Sabha member, but it's a call the LJP President has to take. So far he is not ready. But, I feel we can use his experience for campaigning during the Lok Sabha elections as he has vote bank all over the country, specially in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh."
As per sources, immediately after Amit Shah and Nitish Kumar announced that BJP-JD(U) seat share, Chirag Paswan called up RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, following which senior leaders pressed the panic button and made "an offer of a Rajya Sabha berth to Ram Vilas Paswan and 4 seats to the LJP."
The BJP and JD(U) understand the importance of Ram Vilas Paswan as he can be helpful in getting the 6 percent Paswan votes.
Also, of late Ram Vilas Paswan has not been keeping well, as a result of which the BJP has made an offer of sending the LJP leader to the Rajya Sabha, most likely from Assam. Furthermore, in recent past, there has been widespread protests by the minority groups against the Central government, giving the BJP more reasons to engage Ram Vilas Paswan in good humour. Now, Chirag Paswan's statement has given credence to the offer made by the BJP. Even though, Chirag Paswan spoke to Tejashwi Yadav to mount pressure on the BJP, it is expected that he will remain with the BJP to take on Tejashwi Yadav in future.
Also, Amit Shah will be meeting Upendra Kushwaha in Delhi. Even though, it is an open secret that the BJP-JD(U) have decided to dump Kushwaha for his inability to transfer Kushwaha votes.
Ram Vilas Paswan is a member of Parliament from the Hajipur Parliamentary constituency in Bihar, which he has represented 10 times. He started his legislative career politics from Bihar Vidhan Sabha in 1969 by getting elected as the Vidhan Sabha member.