The RJD will contest in 168 seats and the LJP in 75. LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s brother Pashupati Kumar Paras will be the Deputy Chief Minister aspirant.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) on Monday formally announced their alliance and will contest the coming Assembly elections in Bihar under the leadership of the former Chief Minister, Lalu Prasad.
Both Mr. Prasad and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan jointly announced the seat-sharing arrangement, where Mr. Paswan announced that the RJD chief would be the combine's candidate for the post of Chief Minister. LJP Bihar unit chief Pashupati Kumar Paras, Mr. Paswan's brother, would be the Deputy Chief Minister if the combine came to power.
The alliance would contest the elections on a common manifesto to take on the Janata Dal (United)-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance, led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, with the RJD contesting for 168 seats and the LJP 75 in the 243-member strong House. The parties have decided to release the list of constituencies they will be contesting from only after the JD (U) and BJP do.
Mr. Prasad asserted that the combine would sweep the elections, stressing that the RJD was now a changed party. This time round he will transform Bihar the way he took the Railways to the heights of glory and made it a talking point around the world.
“The RJD is not the same party it was, when it was defamed by a few leaders. It is a changed party now. We'll take all castes and communities together. We'll show the people how we can take the State forward. We were not allowed to rule during our time.”
Mr. Prasad said his party had psychologically liberated the people during his first tenure. “After that, economic liberty follows. Nitish says that I ruled for 15 years. Where was he? He was in Lalu's house for seven-and-half years.”
The RJD chief said the people had read into Mr. Kumar's gimmicks, sitting in the lap of the BJP, and his failure on all fronts. “Nitish has lost the confidence of the people. He has brought disrepute to the State, neck-deep in corruption, making unaccounted withdrawals to the tune of Rs. 32,000 crore as pointed out by the CAG [Comptroller and Auditor General].”