The LJP is a constituent of the BJP-led NDA. However, it has no representation in Nitish Kumar's Cabinet.
There seems to be no end to the feud between Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United). The leaders of the two parties again crossed swords over the handling of the coronavirus situation in the state.
In a tweet, LJP president Chirag Paswan made note of the low screening rate of coronavirus in the state. This didn’t go down well with the JD(U) and evoked a sharp reaction from the party.
“The Lok Janshakti Party has been demanding that there is a need to increase corona testing in Bihar. Now after the Prime Minister intervened and gave suggestions, there is not only hope but confidence that the Bihar government will increase the testing so that Bihar can be protected from Corona,” the LJP tweeted which was retweeted by Chirag. The LJP’s tweet also attached the PMO India’s tweet wherein it referred to PM Narendra Modi’s call for increasing the testing rate in states like Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Telangana.
पूर्व से ही यह माँग लोक जनशक्ति पार्टी करती आयी है कि बिहार में कोरोना टेस्टिंग बढ़ाने की आवश्यकता है। अब प्रधानमंत्री जी के हस्तक्षेप कर सुझाव देने के बाद आशा ही नहीं बल्कि विश्वास है कि बिहार सरकार टेस्टिंग बढ़ाएगी ताकि बिहार को कोरोना से सुरक्षित किया जा सके। https://t.co/zsPFbnGqeL
— Lok Janshakti Party (@LJP4India) August 12, 2020
Senior JD(U) leader and Munger MP Lalan Singh responded to Chirag Paswan. “There was once a Kalidas, who used to cut the same branch of the tree that he was sitting on,” Lalan said.
The JD(U) leader’s reference to Kalidas is seen as a reminder to the LJP that it is a part of the ruling alliance and is dependent on Nitish Kumar to remain in power, and should refrain from making comments that could hurt the alliance partners.
The LJP is a constituent of the BJP-led NDA. However, it has no representation in Nitish Kumar’s Cabinet. The LJP had joined the NDA ahead of 2014 general elections when Nitish Kumar had sided with the RJD and Congress. Nitish, however, returned to the NDA in 2017. The LJP had got one berth in the state Cabinet — Pashupati Paras. He had to resign in 2019 after he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Hajipur.
Chirag Paswan has been vocal with his criticism of Nitish Kumar over the last few months over a host of issues including the handling of the coronavirus situation, migrants issue and floods.
In the last assembly elections held in 2015, the LJP contested 45 seats in an alliance with the BJP. But it won just two seats. According to reports, the LJP is demanding 41 seats to contest elections this year, a tough ask for the BJP.
Chirag had earlier said that he wants a respectable representation in whatever government is formed next in the state. Bihar is slated to go to polls in October-November later this year.