Bihar

LJP continues to simmer, but yet to boil over

Ram Vilas Paswan.   | Photo Credit: PTI

After months of belligerent campaigning against JD(U) leader and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Lok Janshakti Party has not made a formal announcement of severing ties with the NDA, three days after the Bihar assembly election schedule was announced, though the party unofficially maintains that they will contest against the JD(U) and will fight on 143 seats.

Absence of party patriarch Ramvilas Paswan, who is currently undergoing treatment at a Delhi hospital, has made the situation precarious for the party. So far, between Ramvilas Paswan and his son Chirag Paswan, who also heads the party, they were able to maintain a balance by playing the good cop-bad cop routine.

If Chirag Paswan strikes out, then a third front could emerge in Bihar elections, which till now, is a bipolar fight between NDA and Opposition parties — the Mahagatbandhan.

Sources said on Monday that the party had decided that it would fight on 143 seats. They also said that the party would not go into elections on the agenda of “Saat Nischay” or “Seven Promises,” which originally was the agenda on which JD(U) and RJD had come together in 2015. There have been speculations that party president Chirag Paswan, who is currently Lok Sabha MP from Jamui constituency, may himself contest the Assembly elections. This will be a culmination of nearly a year long campaign, in which Chirag Paswan managed to pitch himself against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

“We have been consistent in our stand. Since last November, we have maintained that we will remain with the NDA only if there is a common minimum programme agreed upon by all the allies and if there is a constant channel of communication between the allies,” a senior LJP leader said.

Barring a series of tweets on his father’s absence on Friday when the election schedule was announced, Mr. Paswan has kept mum on Bihar polls. “I am a part of Papa and I have learned to win by fighting in adverse conditions. Thank you to all of you for standing with me in this difficult time...,” Mr. Paswan had tweeted on Friday.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 9:44:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/bihar-assembly/ljp-continues-to-simmer-but-yet-to-boil-over/article32718197.ece

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