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In Virtual Walkout, LJP Decides 'Not to Contest Bihar Polls Under Nitish Kumar'; Wants Tie-up with BJP Only

Lok Janshakti Party chief and MP Chirag Paswan addresses a press conference after launching 'Bihar First-Bihari First' campaign at the party office, in Patna on February 21, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Lok Janshakti Party chief and MP Chirag Paswan addresses a press conference after launching 'Bihar First-Bihari First' campaign at the party office, in Patna on February 21, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Earlier on Thursday, top BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah and party president J P Nadda, held a meeting with LJP chief Chirag Paswan to thrash out a seat-sharing arrangement with allies.

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Sunday virtually walked out of the National Democratic Alliance in Bihar ahead of the state assembly polls, saying that it will not fight the election under JD(U) president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's leadership of the ruling alliance in the state, LJP sources said.

An LJP parliamentary board meeting chaired by its president Chirag Paswan instead passed a resolution in favour of an alliance with the BJP and said its MLAs will work to strengthen the hand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The BJP has already announced that the NDA will fight the polls under the leadership of Nitish Kumar.

As such, the LJP resolution makes the party's break up with the NDA in the state inevitable. The BJP central election committee is meeting later in the evening to finalise the party's candidates for the three-phase assembly election, which begins from October 28.

Earlier on Thursday, top BJP leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah and party president J P Nadda, held a meeting with LJP chief Chirag Paswan to thrash out a seat-sharing arrangement with allies.

Paswan, LJP sources said, listed his grievances with Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar and spoke of pressure from within his party to contest on 143 seats in the elections to the 243-seat assembly at the meeting here.

"No seat-sharing deal was finalised at the meeting," an LJP leader said, adding that Shah noted that the BJP has had no differences with the LJP. The presence of Shah at a meeting of BJP leaders on the Bihar polls on Wednesday and now his meeting with Paswan underscored his effort to settle the internal differences within the ruling National Democratic Alliance amicably.

In 2015, it contested 42 seats and won two. The JD(U) was then part of the opposition alliance which decisively defeated the NDA.

(With PTI inputs)


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