BJP says there's no ultimatum by RLSP on seat-sharing

Patna, Nov 18: A day after Union minister and RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha gave the BJP an ultimatum to resolve the issue of seat-sharing by November 30, the saffron party Sunday said there is no such deadline.

The NDA is firm and united in the state, BJP's Bihar in-charge Bhupendra Yadav said here.

"Upendra Kushwaha met me twice (in Delhi) and apprised me of all issues (concerning seat sharing). Talks were held in a cordial atmosphere," Yadav told reporters on the sidelines of a party programme.

On the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) president's ultimatum to the BJP, Yadav said, "There is no ultimatum." 

The RLSP chief had Saturday given an ultimatum to the BJP to conclude seat-sharing talks by November 30 as the offer made to it was "not respectable and, hence, not acceptable".

The Union minister had, however, declined to divulge the number of seats that were offered to his party.

"I also sought an appointment with BJP president Amit Shah twice, but the same did not materialise," he had told a press conference.

Yadav, a national general secretary and Rajya Sabha member, said the meeting between Shah and Kushwaha could not take place because of the BJP president's engagements in view of the ongoing assembly poll process in five states.

Kushwaha had on November 10 demanded that his party be allotted more than three seats in the state by the NDA to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

He is reportedly peeved over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (United) deciding to contest an equal number of seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election in Bihar.

The state sends 40 members to the Lok Sabha and after the BJP-JD(U) deal, there is speculation that this would mean fewer seats for other allies like the RLSP and the LJP.

A former JD(U) leader himself, Kushwaha had quit the party in 2013 and floated his own outfit. He had joined the NDA at a time when Kumar had snapped ties with the BJP and has been viewing the JD(U)'s return to the coalition last year with much consternation.

The opposition Grand Alliance -- comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress and the Hindustani Awam Morcha -- too has been trying to woo Kushwaha into its fold.

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