Days after RLSP president Upendra Kushwaha declared that he will soon announce his future plans, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Ram Vilas Paswan has now dropped hints of dissent within the alliance.
There is a fresh headache for the Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar in Bihar. Days after RLSP president Upendra Kushwaha declared that he will soon announce his future plans, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) of Ram Vilas Paswan has now dropped hints of dissent within the alliance. The LJP has now said that it will not accept any dishonourable number of seats and also denied speculation that it will contest on fewer seats than it had done during the 2014 general elections.
According to a report in The Indian Express, LJP parliamentary party leader Chirag Paswan, who also is the son of Union minister Ram Vilas, on Wednesday said that the BJP will have to make the maximum adjustment.
“The BJP president (Amit Shah) had talked of honourable agreement (among NDA partners). I will not accept any number of seats that is dishonourable for LJP,” Paswan told reporters here after a programme to mark the 19th foundation day of his party.
Chirag maintained that scenario has changed for 2019 Lok Sabha polls after JD(U) joined the NDA and all constituents of the alliance will have to adjust.
“…because Nitish Kumar is now part of the coalition. For that, if some compromise is needed to be made I believe all the constituents will agree,” he said, adding that NDA will win more seats in Bihar next year than it did in 2014.
On Kushwaha, Chirag said that he was trying to ride two boats by holding talks with opposition leaders while being in the NDA.
“When discussions were being held internally, among leaders of alliance partners, what was the need to present (your) opinion on Twitter and to the media,” he asked.
When LJP president and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan was asked about seat-sharing talks, he said that Bihar Chief Minister’s presence in the NDA will be beneficial for the ruling alliance and that he has handed over all party affairs to Chirag.
Chirag’s decisions will be deemed as that of the party president, he said.
Ram Vilas also informed that he has told BJP leadership that Chirag will handle the seat-sharing issue.
The development comes weeks after the BJP and JD(U) announced that they will contest on similar numbers of seats in Bihar. The state has 40 Lok Sabha seats. In 2014, the BJP had won 22 out of the 30 it contested while the LJP won 6 out of the 7 it contested. The RLSP had won 3 seats. At that time, the JD(U) of Nitish Kumar had contested solo and managed to pocket only two seats. But Kumar returned to NDA fold in 2017.