LJP to be Automatically Distanced When Modi-Nitish Share Stage: JD(U)'s KC Tyagi on Paswan's Solo Pitch

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar with PM Narendra Modi.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar with PM Narendra Modi.

JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi said his party’s tie-up with the BJP predates many other alliances stitched together by the two parties.


Suhas Munshi

A day after Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Chirag Paswan announced his party's decision to go solo in the upcoming Assembly polls in Bihar, senior Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader KC Tyagi told News18 that all speculations and rumours will be laid to rest the moment Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar share stage and address political campaigns together.

Soon after Paswan announced his party's decision to not pitch his party's candidates against the BJP, but field LJP nominees against JD(U), some political analysts had wondered whether there was a tacit understanding between the BJP and LJP to undercut the votes of JD(U).

Rumours about the JD(U) approaching its alliance partner asking it to formally distance itself from Paswan's party at a national level have also been doing rounds.

Tyagi said, "There will be an automatic distancing between the LJP and BJP at the national level when Modi comes to Bihar to campaign with, and stands next to, the chief minister on the stage."

"We have not sent any formal message to the BJP asking them to end ties with the LJP national level. It is for them to decide," the senior JD(U) spokesperson added.

When News18 asked him about the contests between JD(U) and LJP candidates, Tyagi said, "When senior BJP leaders come and campaign for JD(U) candidates and vice-versa, there will be no confusion."

So when the LJP fields candidates against the JD(U) it will effectively be pitching candidates against the BJP as well, since they are allies? "Exactly," responded Tyagi, adding that since the top BJP leadership had accepted Kumar as their leader and alliance's face in Bihar, any move against the JD(U) would be seen as being against the interests of the BJP as well.

"Kumar has publicly been declared the leader of the NDA in Bihar by none other than Amit Shah, Narendra Modi and JP Nadda. If a party or a group of people don't agree with Kumar's leadership, they are going against the collective leadership of the BJP," Tyagi told News18.

The JD(U) general secretary added that his party’s tie-up with the BJP predates many other alliances stitched together by the two parties. "Our alliance with the BJP has been in place since the time of Atalji. George Fernandes as the convenor presided over the alliance that was stitched together in 1998," Tyagi said.

On the other hand, he added, the JD(U) has not been in a direct alliance with the LJP since 1998. "Every election we have fought since then, in 1999, 2004, 2005, 2010, 2015 we have fought it with the BJP and not the LJP. Yes, in the last Lok Sabha polls we were in alliance with the LJP by virtue of it being in alliance with the BJP, but that's as far as the history of our political alliance goes," Tyagi said.

In an open letter to the people of the state, Chirag Paswan, on Monday, said that the coming Assembly elections against Kumar was going to be a "big, defining moment in the history of Bihar."

Pitching himself as a 'young Bihari', Paswan said in his letter that the decision to fight alone was made keeping in mind the pride of Bihar. "This is the question of life and death for 12 crore Biharis, we have no more time to lose," Paswan said in his letter.

Meanwhile the JD(U)-BJP combine, which has agreed to a 50-50 seat sharing arrangement, are likely to announce the first batch of candidates soon.

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