In a move that will prolong the speculation about the LJP’s future in the NDA, party president Chirag Paswan on Saturday released a statement in which he praised Prime Minister Modi for his work but remained quiet on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the target of the party’s several salvos till date.
Chirag stated that he is proud to have had “an opportunity” to work with Modi.
In what is seen as an indication that the LJP may go it alone in the Bihar Assembly elections, Chirag sought people’s blessings for his “Bihar First Bihari First” manifesto. According to the statement, the LJP took inspiration from the Prime Minister to prepare this vision document.
The note says that having taken inspiration from the Prime Minister, the LJP has prepared a vision document called “Bihar First Bihari First”. While asking for blessings, Paswan’s note says that the vision document aims to restore “lost Bihari pride”, and says that he hopes all his “candidates will strengthen the hands of the Prime Minister”. There was no mention of strengthening Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Chirag Paswan and Nitish Kumar have consistently sniped at each other, with the LJP leaders claiming that they were prepared to fight 143 seats in the Bihar Assembly polls, and to put up candidates where the JD(U) was fighting, and not the BJP. A senior LJP leader said, “It is almost certain we will not fight under Nitish Kumar. Until a formal announcement things can still change, but it seems difficult now.”
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