Lok Janshkati Party leader Chirag Paswan on Saturday hinted at a possible alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal but said that the decision on any tie-up will be taken around when elections will be held in Bihar, reported ANI.
“My father [Ram Vilas Paswan] and [RJD chief] Lalu ji have always been close friends,” Chirag Paswan said. “RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and I know each other since childhood, we’d a close friendship, he is my younger brother. When election time will come in Bihar then the party will take a final call on the alliance.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Tejashwi Yadav had called upon Chirag Paswan to join his party in an alliance, reminding him how Lalu Yadav had helped Ram Vilas Paswan get nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2010 when LJP had no MP or MLAs, reported The Indian Express.
“It is Chirag who has to decide if he would continue to live with followers of [former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief] Guru Golwalkar’s ‘Bunch of Thoughts’ or with followers of BR Ambedkar, the maker of Indian Constitution,” he had said.
On Thursday, Chirag Paswan also reiterated his earlier statement on how he supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi on matters such as the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens when Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) “disagreed” with them. “Now it is for the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party] to decide whether they will support me or Nitish Kumar in the coming days.”
Earlier on Friday, Paswan, who is facing a coup within his party, had expressed dissatisfaction with Modi for not supporting him in his tussle with his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras.
“When initially I was going through a low phase [after the party coup], I was expecting my prime minister to stand by me,” he had said. “But soon, I realised it is for me to clear up the mess on my own.”
On Tuesday, Paswan had said he expected the BJP to help sort things out. “Their silence definitely hurts... My father Ram Vilas Paswan and I stood by BJP like a rock, but they are not there when I expected them in such difficult times,” he had told PTI.
The LJP plunged into a crisis earlier in June when five of its six Lok Sabha MPs rebelled against Paswan and told Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla that they have chosen Pashupati Kumar Paras as the party’s leader in Parliament.
The move was effectively a coup against Paswan, who is the sixth LJP MP. Birla had accepted Paras as the floor leader of the LJP in the Lower House.
Next, the LJP faction, led by Chirag Paswan, expelled Paras and the four other MPs who had revolted against him. This came soon after the rebel leaders removed Paswan as the national president in an emergency meeting of the LJP national working committee. Paswan’s removal was justified by the rebel politicians with the party’s principle of “one man, one post”.
On June 16, Paswan had blamed the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) for orchestrating the coup. “A conspiracy was hatched behind my back while I was ill,” Paswan had alleged. His comments against the JD(U) come at a time amid speculation that Paras will merge the LJP with Nitish Kumar’s party.
Paswan’s decision to contest the Bihar Assembly elections separately from the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance is considered to be one of the reasons for his feud with Paras. The party had won just one out of 243 seats in the Assembly polls. However, the LJP dented the performance of the Janata Dal (United), which finished third.