In what could be a trouble for NDA ally JD(U), the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has decided to go solo in the Bihar election as it is opposed to the idea of Nitish Kumar as the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate. LJP has clarified that it will not fight the election against BJP, but will contest the seats where JD(U) candidates are in the fray.
LJP has also decided to go with the slogan ‘Bihar First, Bihari First’ in the upcoming polls. The party clarified that all the LJP candidates who win the election will form a BJP-LJP government in the state.
The decision in this regard was taken during LJP’s parliamentary board meeting on Sunday. The meeting was chaired by Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag Paswan. The party also issued a statement in this regard.
Why LJP decided to go solo?
The statement provides that the decision to go solo in the Bihar elections was taken due to the party’s ideological differences with JD(U). LJP also said that there is no rift with the BJP and the party will continue to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his vision for the development of the country, as well as Bihar.
The LJP’s decision comes at the end of months-long sparring with the JD(U) over a number of issues, including Bihar’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and Nitish Kumar’s joining forces with former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. Manjhi, a Dalit leader like the Paswans, has an overlapping support base. Within the party, Chirag Paswan has not been shy about expressing his ambitions for the top job.
The LJP had also demanded an early decision on seat division. But there has been no response from the BJP. Despite the LJP repeatedly making it clear that it would contest against JD(U) unless given a fair share of seats, the BJP has so far been silent on the issue.
How JD(U) reacted?
JD(U) spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan said as long as the BJP-Nitish Kumar alliance remains intact, there is no confusion about getting a thumping majority.
Meanwhile, a section of the NDA leaders suggested that Chirag Paswan’s move against Nitish Kumar could not have happened without the tacit support of top BJP leadership.
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