Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan said on Sunday that the JD(U)-BJP alliance would not have gained even a single seat had the Congress contested the by-elections to the 18 Assembly seats along with the RJD-LJP combine.
Of the five seats where it fielded its candidates, the LJP won three while the RJD-LJP combine bagged nine seats.
“Earlier, the JD(U)-BJP held 13 seats while the RJD-LJP held five,” said Mr. Paswan.
“The facts speak for themselves. Arithmetic shows that not a single seat could have been gained by the NDA government had the three parties fought jointly,” he said while specially mentioning the Bagha seat, where the Congress came second with 43,000 votes.
“It just goes to show that the people of Bihar have lost faith in Nitish Kumar’s government,” he said.
“We would like them [the Congress] to join us in Jharkhand. We have no problems either if the JMM [Jharkhand Mukti Morcha] wishes that the Congress will join us in our endeavour to form a secular government,” Mr. Paswan said .
“We have had no quibbles with the Congress in the past, and we have always held out our hand to them even before the by-polls.”
However, Mr. Paswan said that as of now, no talks were held with the Congress.
He stressed that foodgrains had not been distributed under the red and yellow cards to villagers who were especially hard-pressed owing to the drought-like conditions in the State.
Mr. Paswan further said Mr. Kumar’s ‘arrogance’ cost the ruling party several seats and his [Nitish’s] vote division policies between the Paswan and Ravidas communities did not do him any good either. He hit out at the fact that the “Nitish Kumar government was awarding a paltry three decimals of land to Below Poverty Line families, whereas according to the norms stipulated, at least nine decimals should be awarded.”
He said that for the “Assembly elections, the party would only concentrate on those areas where it had the potential to win. To underestimate the LJP would mean committing a grave error.”