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Ram Vilas Paswan Rules Out Talks With RJD Day After Son Chirag Hints at Possibility

LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan has reiterated that no alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav or his son Tejashwi is on the cards and that NDA would remain intact in Bihar for the 2019 elections.

Marya Shakil | CNN-News18maryashakil

Updated:July 6, 2018, 11:57 PM IST
New Delhi: When asked about a possible alliance between NDA ally LJP and Lalu Prasad’s RJD, LJP leader Chirag Paswan had told News18 that anything is possible in politics. However, a day later, Chirag’s father, LJP chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan has clarified the party’s stand while speaking to CNN-News18’s Marya Shakil.

The LJP leader has reiterated that no alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav or his son Tejashwi is on the cards and that NDA would remain intact in Bihar for the 2019 elections.

Here are the excerpts:

Q: Are new political formations taking place in Bihar for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections? Can LJP and RJD work together ahead of 2019?

Paswan: Before 2019, no.

Q: There are no talks between the RJD and LJP?

Paswan: No talks are going on. When Lalu Prasad was admitted to the hospital recently, I thought of going to see him but Upendra Kushwaha (RLSP leader) reached there before me and the media started saying that he is going with the RJD. After that I didn’t go. The question of RJD and LJP working together before the elections is ruled out.

Q: How do you look at the statement of your son Chirag Paswan where he said in an interview to News18 that both Tejashwi and he are young and in politics everything is possible?

Paswan: Chirag is new in politics. He is the chairman of the Parliamentary Board. Whatever he says holds importance for party affairs as he is the future of the party. However, when we are talking about NDA, Chirag was the one who vouched for the alliance. I also remember him telling me that he cannot work with someone like Lalu Prasad Yadav because he has corruption charges against him and that would not be good for us as a party.

Q: You are saying Chirag is the future of the party, so what if he says tomorrow that he wants to go work with Tejashwi?

Paswan: I know Chirag very well and I know that he cannot say this for sure. This thing about the future, I am not so sure what was context Chirag said this in.

Q: He may have problems with Lalu Yadav but what about Tejashwi Yadav? As the party chief, will you allow Chirag and Tejashwi to work together?

Paswan: If Chirag has said that Lalu Prasad is corrupt then it is applicable on Tejashwi too. After Lalu, maximum corruption charges are on Tejashwi and the rest of the family. I cannot believe that he said this.

Q: People say that you understand politics like no one else. Will you fight the 2019 elections with UPA or NDA?

Paswan: NDA of course. The alliance will remain intact and in 2019, NDA will form the government and Narendra Modi will become the prime minister of India. There is no vacancy for PM’s post. No one should waste time in this election, people should rather prepare for the elections in 2024.

Q: Some in Congress have come out and said that Nitish Kumar should be included in the mahagathbandhan.

Paswan: Nitish Kumar has been the chief minister since 2005 and he has been able to retain the position because of the work he has done. Three or four MLCs of Congress are joining the Janata Dal anyway, I don’t want to comment on those who want to join the Janata Dal.

Q: In 2019, what will be the formula for Bihar which has 40 seats? It is heard that you, Nitish Kumar, Upendra Kushwaha and others are forming pressure groups to bargain more seats from the BJP.

Paswan: There is no pressure group which we have formed. It is often said against me that Ram Vilas is with NDA one day and UPA the other day. But let me say this that there is no pressure group. I have said this two years ago that NDA will come back in power.

Q: The 2009 formula where 25 seats were fought by the JDU, 15 by the BJP, something like that?

Paswan: A party worker will want to contest as many seats as possible but reality stays as it is.

Q: On July 12, will you discuss this when Amit Shah comes?

Paswan: I am going to Chicago for a World Conference. Amit Shah has earlier discussed this with me and Chirag.

| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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