Bharatiya Janata Party MP Tejasvi Surya on Monday praised Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan as an “energetic leader and a great friend”, NDTV reported. Paswan has decided to not fight the Bihar Assembly elections with BJP ally Janata Dal (United) and has been consistently critical of Nitish Kumar.

“Chirag Paswan is a very energetic leader,” Surya said, while campaigning in Bihar. “In Parliament, he raises issues of Bihar complete with statistics. He is a well-known youth leader, a special friend and I wish him the very best.”

Surya was asked whether Paswan’s statement meant that there was some truth to his claims of forming a government with BJP, excluding Kumar. “That is something that is for after the elections,” he said.

But he also reiterated that Kumar will be the chief minister if the National Democratic Alliance wins the elections. “Our main leader is Nitish Kumar,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV. “He will be the chief minister of Bihar. The BJP and the NDA coalition will win a two-thirds majority and a Nitish Kumar government will be formed.”

The MP from Karnataka also criticised Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav over his “false” election promises, according to The Indian Express.

“He is only spreading falsehood and false hope. When they had the chance to be in government, why did they not think of 10 lakh jobs… Now they are spreading lies by this 10 lakh lie. ‘Princes’ who have become politically unemployed after the coming of Narendra Modi are now spreading these lies.”

— BJP MP Tejasvi Surya

Paswan had on Sunday said that the next state government in Bihar would be a “Nitish-free” one. The Lok Janshakti Party leader had also said that he will send Kumar to jail for corruption.

On October 4, citing “ideological differences”, the Lok Janshakti Party decided not to contest the elections with Kumar-led Janata Dal (United). The party, however, decided to stay as an ally of the BJP at the national level and even support the saffron party’s MLAs during the state elections.

The BJP, however, has been emphasising that Kumar will become the chief minister if the alliance is voted to power, irrespective of individual tallies of the parties.

Earlier this month, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Modi had described Paswan’s party as “vote katuwa”, a term often used in election parlance for parties that do not necessarily win seats but manage to split voters. He had also insisted that his party has no “secret deal” with the Lok Janshakti Party and that the Chirag Paswan-led outfit is not a part of the National Democratic Alliance in the state.

Assembly elections in Bihar will be held in three phases between October 28 and November 7. The results will be declared on November 10.

Also read:

  1. Bihar elections: Don’t waste a single vote on JD(U), says LJP’s Chirag Paswan
  2. Don’t mind criticism from Modi, but BJP should use words wisely, says Chirag Paswan