Updated: February 1, 2021 12:11:28 pm
While LJP president Chirag Paswan pulled out from an NDA meet on the BJP’s request following strong opposition from the JD(U), the invitation to his party seems to have further strained ties between the ruling alliance partners, which are yet to finalise names for the long-pending cabinet expansion in Bihar.
The JD(U) on Sunday reiterated that the LJP should not have a place in the NDA as it made the party lose at least 20 seats in the Bihar polls.
BJP felt the heat with another NDA ally, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), also resisting any attempt to bring the LJP in the NDA fold. While LJP is not part of NDA in Bihar, it considers itself part of the alliance at the Centre and its six MPs continue to lend support to the government.
The BJP’s overtures to LJP came even as the ruling alliance partners in Bihar are yet to agree on names of probable ministers.
“There are at least three-four names from our side Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has not been comfortable with. Any leader who has criticised Nitish Kumar in the past does not seem to find favour with the CM, who cites social equation balance to have his way. It is surely the prerogative of the CM to choose his ministers but BJP should be allowed to choose its ministers,” a BJP source said.
BJP state president Dr Sanjay Jaiswal and state organisation secretary Nagendra Ji are likely to meet BJP national president J P Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take a final call on names of ministers and probable MLC candidates in the next two days.
However, JD (U) national spokesperson KC Tyagi said the Cabinet expansion and “our stand on LJP are not related at all”. “When top BJP leaders, right from PM Narendra Modi to BJP national president J P Nadda have spoken clearly about Nitish Kumar being leader of NDA in Bihar, there can be no question of Chirag Paswan’s entry in NDA. We have made it very clear to the BJP leadership.”
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