Chirag Paswan Seeks People's Support for 'Bihar First' Vision Document; May Fight Elections Independently
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 (LJP) president Chirag Paswan on Saturday sought people's "blessings" for his party's "Bihar first Bihari first" vision document in yet another indication that it may not fight the state assembly polls as part of the National Democratic Alliance. In a statement, he heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said all his party's candidates will strengthen the BJP leader's hand.
The vision document has been inspired by Modi, said Paswan who has often made it clear that his main grouse is against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U). "It is not only my hope but confidence that you will bless me to make Bihar first and restore its pride so that all my candidates could strengthen the hands of the prime minister," he posted a message on Twitter with a picture of Modi talking to him and keeping his hand on Paswan's shoulders.
The LJP may contest on 143 seats in the elections to the 243-seat state assembly while not putting up its candidates against BJP nominees, party sources said. A party meeting to deliberate on the Bihar polls was postponed after Paswan rushed to hospital to see his ailing father and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan.
Chirag Paswan has met BJP president J P Nadda a few times and had also spoken to Home Minister Amit Shah as the saffron party leadership worked to keep the alliance intact. The LJP, the sources said, is also unhappy with the seat-sharing arrangement offered to it and is hoping to inflict damage on poll prospects of the JD(U), which has maintained that the LJP is a BJP ally and not its.
The Bihar assembly polls will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7, and the counting of votes will take place on November 10. The nomination process for the first phase, under which 71 of the total 243 seats will go to polls, began from October 1 and will end on October 8.
In 2015, the LJP had contested 42 seats and won two. The JD(U) was then part of the opposition alliance which decisively defeated the NDA.