Two days after expressing unease with BJP over the delay in finalizing seat sharing agreement in Bihar for 2019 general elections, Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag held a meeting with saffron party chief Amit Shah Thursday. The hour-long meeting also included Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
Sources in the party said BJP’s defeat in the five state polls has ignited a rethink in the party over its ties with the saffron party, news agency PTI reported.
A day after the assembly election results were announced on December 11, Chirag had also written a letter to Jaitley with a copy to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to list the benefits of demonetisation so that he can “explain” them to people.
In his comments to the media, Chirag also spoke about farmers distress and had earlier tweeted about the ruling National Democratic Alliance passing through “trying times”.
With ties under strain, LJP sources, according to PTI, said, they want a better deal than the BJP has offered it, more so after former BJP ally Upendra Kushwaha’s exit from the alliance.
However, Bihar party in-charge Bhupender Yadav insisted that there is no problem in the alliance and that it is intact.
Just days ago, Paswan distanced his party from the Ram Temple issue, saying it could be an agenda for only a party and not the NDA or the Central government. He also praised Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for his party performance in the recent state elections saying there was a “definite change” in the functioning of the Congress president and that he should be credited with the party’s victory in the recent state assembly elections.
“Congress party has won after a long time. You’ll have to give it to him. If you criticise someone, you should also appreciate them when they perform well. They chose issues well,” ANI quoted Paswan as saying. Paswan said while Congress raised issues of farmers and unemployment, “we stayed tangled in religion and temples”.