As Nitish Kumar snapped ties with BJP, LJP (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan Tuesday slammed the Bihar chief minister for insulting the people’s mandate once again and demanded the imposition of President’s Rule in the state followed by fresh elections. Paswan also came out in support of the BJP amid the political turmoil in Bihar and said the saffron party had accepted everything that Kumar wanted as chief minister and even compromised on its own policies. “Nitish Kumar has once again insulted the people’s mandate. He has lost his credibility… Is it a joke? At one time you go with somebody and the other time with someone else,” Paswan told reporters here.
“I request the governor to recommend the imposition of President’s Rule in the state. Elections should be held for a fresh mandate,” the Jamui MP added. Paswan alleged that Kumar has quit the NDA to join hands with the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) of the opposition parties “once again” just to achieve his personal ambitions. “There is no public interest involved in his decision here. For Nitish Kumar, it has always been about the ‘kursi’ (seat of power),” the LJP (Ram Vilas) leader charged, adding that “he wants to remain the chief minister and be projected as the Opposition’s PM candidate in 2024 Lok Sabha elections”.
Ridiculing Kumar for snapping ties with the BJP, Paswan said it was time for him to address the issue of unemployment and drought in parts of Bihar but he chose to pursue his personal ambitions. “But, Nitish Kumar cannot stay with anybody (ally) for long. Even if a government is formed now with the opposition parties’ support to JD-U, it won’t last long. Mid-term elections are imminent in Bihar,” he said. “That’s why I am saying it is necessary that mid-term elections are held for a fresh mandate,” he said. The JD(U) has lost its credibility due to Kumar and the party will score a “zero” if assembly elections are held in Bihar, he added.
Asked about his own role going forward, Paswan said he doesn’t have any role to play “as of now” as his party doesn’t have any MLA in Bihar legislative assembly. “But I will definitely have a role to play in the next state elections,” he asserted. The LJP had gone alone to contest Bihar assembly polls in 2020 but lost all the seats. When asked to clarify if he was with the NDA or the opposition parties, the son of former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan said, “It doesn’t matter which side I am on.” “At present, I am just focussing on my party’s organisational setup. And, I am in no rush to be part of any alliance, neither I am looking forward to that,” he said.
Paswan said he will clear his party’s stand after announcement of the assembly polls in Bihar. Paswan also took a dig at Kumar over the JD-U leaders projecting him as Opposition’s PM candidate for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, saying, “How will a person be a PM material when he could not even become a CM material properly.” Kumar would realise his strength and come to know how popular a leader he is if he contests an election, he said. “Why doesn’t Nitish ji contest any election? At least once, he should dare to contest election,” he added.