A senior leader of the Lok Janshakti Party in Bihar on Wednesday said the National Democratic Alliance should allocate the party seats in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh as well because it has a vote bank there, ANI reported. The party is a coalition partner of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA at the Centre and in Bihar, and has six MPs in the Lok Sabha.
Lok Janshakti Party leader Pashupati Kumar Paras set a deadline of December 31 for BJP President Amit Shah to decide on the matter, urging him to “maintain the sanctity of the coalition”. He said the party has been an “honest partner of the NDA” and is asking for “what is rightfully ours”.
Paras, younger brother of Union minister and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, said his party should get the same share of seats in Bihar as it did in the previous Lok Sabha elections. “Time is running out now,” he said. “We want Amit Shah to finalise this by December 31.” The party had contested seven seats in the 2014 elections.
Paras said the NDA has “undoubtedly” weakened in Bihar with the exit of partners like Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha and Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, PTI reported. Paras claimed that Kushwaha ran out of patience and left the alliance as Shah and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar announced that their parties would contest an equal number of seats without taking into account the other constituents.
Paras said all partners should have ideally arrived at a seat-sharing formula through consensus.
Paras’s comments came a day after party leader Chirag Paswan suggested differences with the NDA over seat-sharing for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. “The NDA is going through a delicate phase after the Telugu Desam Party and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party pulled out of the alliance,” Paswan had tweeted. “At this point in time, the BJP should look into concerns of the parties who are still in alliance with them before it is too late.”
Paswan further tweeted that his party had met BJP leaders on several occasions but nothing concrete had been achieved so far. “If no consensus is built on the issue at the earliest, it might result in a loss,” he said.
Paras added that Paswan’s tweets reflected the party’s sentiments and the seat-sharing formula should be timely and respectable.