Bihar Assembly election: Amid speculations, Cong. denies contacting LJP

As speculations are on about the Congress wooing the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections, the Congress’s Bihar in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil said his party had not approached them.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Gohil said, “The NDA has a history of divorces close to the elections. Everyone knows that the BJP falls at the feet of their allies when they need them and when they don’t they can even slit their throats open. Look at what happened to PDP or Shiv Sena.”

He said the Mahagathbandhan, an alliance between the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress, the Hindustan Awam Morcha, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and the Vikassheel Insaan Party was intact.

On the LJP, he said, “Neither have we contacted any one nor has anyone spoken to us.”

The LJP, meanwhile, is maintaining a studied silence. After the sharp criticism of the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s administration by both LJP president Chirag Paswan and his father Ramvilas Paswan, it finds itself cornered as the Janata Dal (United) has threatened to sharply reduce its seat share.

Loss in 2015

The LJP had failed to make a mark in the 2015 elections, which it fought in alliance with the BJP. It contested 42 seats but won only two. “This talk about the Congress making an overture to them is merely a method of flexing their muscles and trying to make space for themselves in the NDA,” a top RJD leader said.

Speculation is also rife that the Congress and the RJD may be eager to shed the smaller allies, particularly the Hindustan Awam Morcha and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, which, many leaders feel, bring little to the table. “Freud said there are three layers of human consciousness, one is conscious, second subconscious and third unconscious. In our subconscious, this definitely is an option,” the RJD leader said. He said both the HAM and the RLSP had failed to make any dent since 2015.

In 2015, the HAM fought in 21 seats and won a single seat of Imamganj, which was wrested by HAM chief Jitan Ram Manjhi. The RLSP contested in 23 and won two seats. In the Lok Sabha elections too, both the parties had drawn a blank. Conversations with leaders across the RJD and the Congress revealed that they feel Mukesh Sahni of the Vikassheel Insaan Party has potential. “Mukesh Sahni has a strong hold on Mallah, which constitutes nearly 5-6 per cent of the vote bank. He can’t be easily ignored,” a Congress leader said.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 4:28:36 PM |

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