Other States

BJP will decide face of NDA in Bihar Assembly polls: LJP

LJP president Chirag Paswan. File

LJP president Chirag Paswan. File  

Chirag Paswan says LJP will support whatever decision BJP takes

In a direct snub to Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP) president Chirag Paswan asserted that only the BJP can decide who would lead the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Assembly elections slated for end of this year.

Also read: With BJP in whatever decision it takes for Bihar Assembly polls: Chirag Paswan

His statement comes ahead of Home Minister Amit Shah’s digital rally addressing the State voters on Sunday.

Mr. Paswan’s statement comes at a time when voices within the BJP have been picking faults with Mr. Kumar’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Many have been demanding that Mr. Kumar hand over the Chief Minister’s position to the BJP. Mr Paswan’s statement is convenient for the BJP, which so far officially maintains that Mr. Kumar will continue to be the face of the NDA.

“Who will be the face of the NDA and lead us into the Assembly elections will be decided by the BJP, which is the largest constituent of the NDA in the State. Whatever decision the BJP will take in the interest of Bihar and the coalition, the Lok Jan Shakti Party will fully support it,” Mr Paswan tweeted on Saturday. He has openly slammed Mr. Kumar, for what he called delayed response in getting stranded students and migrant workers back during the extended lockdown.

Also read: Analysis | LJP shows signs of breaking ranks with the BJP ahead of polls

The LJP, meanwhile, is struggling to remain politically relevant in a State where at present it has not a single MLA. In 2015, it fought in alliance with the BJP, the Hindustan Awam Morcha and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party. Out of the 243 seats, they got 42 in the alliance but could only win two. Even the two MLAs it managed to send to the Assembly shifted loyalties later on.

The JD(U), in 2015 was with the ‘grand alliance’ with the RJD and the Congress. The LJP is worried that it may not get 42 seats, like it got in the last elections, with the JD(U) back in the NDA.

Also read: Bihar BJP gearing for Assembly polls

Concentrating on an online campaign now, Mr. Paswan has come up with a slogan “Bihar 1st, Bihari 1st” for the elections. In November last, the party had begun a membership drive aiming to connect 50 lakh new members. But so far, according to their own estimates, only 31 lakh members have joined.

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 8:26:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bjp-will-decide-face-of-nda-in-bihar-assembly-polls-ljp/article31767501.ece

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