The Lok Janshakti Party, one of the allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has said that raising contentious matters such as the Ram temple in Ayodhya and triple talaq might harm the National Democratic Alliance in the General Elections this year, NDTV reported.

The party’s parliamentary board Chairperson Chirag Paswan, son of Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, on Saturday said the ruling alliance can win 35 to 40 seats in Bihar if Ram temple and triple talaq are kept off the agenda.

“I am hopeful that the election will be fought on the issue of development and contentious issues like the Ram temple and triple talaq will be kept at bay,” he said in Sheikhpura. “I expect from the prime minister [Narendra Modi] and other NDA partners that we will continue to make development, problem of youth, farmers and deprived sections our main issue.”

The Supreme Court’s verdict on the Ram temple matter should be accepted unconditionally, Paswan added. The court is yet to fix the dates for hearing the case.

Janata Dal (United), the other BJP ally in Bihar, has already indicated that it will not support an ordinance on constructing the Ram temple and will also vote against the triple talaq bill in its present form in the Rajya Sabha.

Meanwhile, Chirag Paswan said his party would field a candidate from Munger for the Lok Sabha elections. “Neither of our allies, the BJP or the Janata Dal [United], has approached us expressing a desire to contest the seat,” PTI quoted him as saying. “But if we are asked to give up our claim on the seat and offered some other constituency, it will be duly considered.”