NDA is intact in Bihar, says Paswan

December 3, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgReacting to reports of political turbulence in the NDA in Bihar, Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan said on Thursday that the alliance is intact in the State. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s phone call to his erstwhile ally Rashtriya Janata Dal patriarch Lalu Prasad started the speculation that the Janata Dal (United) may jump the ship. Several JD(U) leaders were also taking swipes at the BJP and projecting their own party as the senior partner in the alliance.“NDA was and is intact in Bihar,” Mr. Paswan told The Hindu. He had refused to comment on the events on Wednesday. He said that following the reports he spoke to Mr. Kumar and BJP leaders on Wednesday night to clear the air. “The CM clarified that the phone call to Lalu ji was nothing but a courtesy call to enquire about the health of a senior leader,” he said. The LJP leader also played down reported differences among the Bihar allies over sharing of seats in the Lok Sabha polls and said it would be sorted out when senior leaders meet.He described the RJD as “full of dirt” where nobody would like to go, adding that the Bihar Chief Minister had made four calls to Mr. Prasad or his associates in the last few weeks to enquire about his health.‘Avoid political prism’Mr. Paswan said that the phone call should not be seen through a political prism. “On July 12 we will have further discussions when BJP president Amit Shah will come to the State,” he added. Though Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, also a member of the BJP national executive, said the full itinerary of the party chief was not yet known, party sources said Mr. Shah is likely to meet the leaders of other NDA constituents as well, including Mr. Kumar. The BJP president had met Mr. Paswan recently.The seat-sharing issue in NDA has become ticklish due to the coalition’s changed equation after the JD(U)’s return to its fold.In the 2014 general election, when Mr. Kumar had broken away from the NDA, the BJP-led alliance had won 31 out of 40 seats, with the BJP bagging 22 seats, the LJP six and the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party winning three.If none of them yields any of their respective seats, only nine will be open to negotiations as against 25 that the JD(U) had contested in 2009 as an NDA constituent.Although the JD(U) won only two seats fighting separately in tie-up with the Left parties in 2014, it put up a much improved show in the subsequent Assembly elections when it won 71 seats out of a total of 243.(With PTI inputs)last_img

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