Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday shared the seat-sharing formula ahead of the state Assembly polls, ANI reported. The chief minister said his party, the Janata Dal (United), will contest from 122 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party has been allocated 121 seats.

Kumar added that the Janata Dal (U) will allot seven seats to Hindustani Awam Morcha from its quota, while the BJP was in talks to share its seat with the Vikassheel Insaan Party. There are 243 seats in the Bihar Assembly.

Elections in Bihar will be held in three phases between October 28 and November 7. The counting of votes will take place on November 10. This is the first election to be held in the country during the coronavirus pandemic. The Bihar Assembly has 243 seats, of which 38 are reserved for Scheduled Castes and two for Scheduled Tribes. The results will be announced on November 10.

Meanwhile, the chief minister dismissed rumours of misunderstanding between the his party and the BJP, adding that he was working with the saffron party for the development of Bihar, according to NDTV. The statement came after the Lok Janshakti Party on Sunday announced that it will not contest the Assembly elections with the Janata Dal (United) due to “ideological differences”.

Kumar also issued a reminder of the contribution of the Janata Dal (United) and the BJP in helping Paswan reach the Rajya Sabha. Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, who was seated next to the chief minister during the press conference, indirectly condemned LJP chief Chirag Paswan’s decision to contest alone.

Modi said the LJP chief would not have made the decision if his father and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan was around. The Union minister recently underwent a heart surgery and is recuperating at a hospital.

Modi added that only Kumar will be the chief minister of Bihar “whatever may be the outcome in terms of numbers”, reported NDTV. “Whoever is part of NDA has to accept Nitish Kumar’s leadership,” he said.

He added that if needed, the BJP would write to the Election Commission that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo must not be misused. The LJP had passed a resolution to support the BJP when it decided to go solo. Modi said Kumar would be the chief minister “whatever may be the outcome in terms of numbers”.

Earlier in the day, the LJP chief penned an open letter, asking people “not to waste even a single vote” on Janata Dal (United) candidates. “Every vote going to the Janata Dal (United) candidate will compel your children to migrate from the state,” Paswan wrote. He said that parting ways with the Janata Dal (United) was a difficult decision he had to take for the “future of Bihar”, adding that his party’s position was that its winning MLAs would work with the BJP.

He dismissed claims that the decision was made to fulfill his own political ambitions. He further said that Kumar had managed to be at the helm of affairs all these years because of a lack of an alternative.

On October 3, the Bihar Grand Alliance had announced its seat-sharing formula for the Assembly polls. The Tejashwi Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal was contesting from 144 seats, the Congress 70 and the Left parties – Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist) – were coming together to contest from 29 seats.