A day before the party takes a final call on whether to contest the Bihar elections on its own, or as part of the NDA, the LJP on Friday again attacked the Nitish Kumar government’s pet scheme “Saat Nischay (Seven Resolutions)”— on village roads and sanitation— calling it “ill-planned and a hub of corruption”.
While he has met several top BJP leaders in Delhi over the last few days—including Home Minister Amit Shah, among others, on Thursday and his BJP counterpart J P Nadda for the second time this week—Lok Janshakti Party president Chirag Paswan is reportedly not happy with the “kind of seats” it is being offered.
The BJP had reportedly offered 27 seats, including several Muslim-dominated constituencies, to the LJP. The BJP and JD(U) have put their seat-sharing announcement on hold since the LJP taking its time to take a final call.
LJP spokesperson Ashraf Ansari told The Indian Express: “We are meeting tomorrow to discuss everything, including the vision document of ‘Bihar First, Bihari First’. We have never appreciated the much talked-about ‘Saat Nischay’ scheme, which is ill-planned and is a hub of corruption. Nal Jal scheme, in particular, involves rampant corruption.”
Ansari indicated that the party would also discuss the option of going it alone, with the list of its 143 probable seats set to be taken up in the meeting.
Bihar BJP president Dr Sanjay Jaiswal said: “If Ram Vilas Paswan were not unwell, seat-sharing would have done much earlier. But we are trying to sort it out soon and seat-sharing among the three parties would be announced soon.”
But a Patna-based LJP leader said the majority view in the party is to go it alone. “After all, we had done very well in 2005 February elections (when the party contested on its own and won 29 seats). We have party workers in most areas of Bihar. We have a chance to win and a better potential to damage our opponent…. Even if we walk out of NDA, we will not attack the BJP or PM Narendra Modi,” this leader said.
According to the LJP leader, the party has the strength to get 6 to 12 per cent votes, which could spoil the game for JD(U).
But playing down the LJP’s words as political posturing, a senior JD(U) leader said: “Chirag Paswan looks a man in hurry. He is on way to committing political harakiri – once he tests the political waters independently, he will stand exposed.”
The JD(U) leader added, “One has to make compromise in a coalition; that is the beauty of alliance.”