May 29, 2019 12:35:41 am
BJP ally Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Tuesday passed a resolution recommending party president Ram Vilas Paswan’s name as the party’s representative in the Narendra Modi government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and members of the Union council of ministers will take oath of office on Thursday.
Paswan, who was a Cabinet minister in the previous NDA government as well, did not contest the Lok Sabha elections following an assurance from the BJP that he will be elected to the Rajya Sabha.
The LJP passed the resolution in a meeting of the party’s central Parliamentary board, chaired by Chirag Paswan, the party chief’s son and a second-time MP from Jamui.
“It is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to decide who will be in his Cabinet. But after rumours (began floating) about who will be minister, the party’s Parliamentary board today passed a resolution that Ram Vilas Paswan-ji will again represent LJP in the Union Cabinet,” Chirag told the media after the meeting.
Chirag said the party will communicate the decision formally to Prime Minister Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and others concerned.
The party also decided in the meeting that Chirag will be the LJP leader in Lok Sabha, Mehboob Ali Kaiser its deputy leader, while Ramchandra Paswan will be the chief whip.
On a senior Bihar RJD leader’s demand that Tejashwi Yadav should quit as Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly following the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha election, Chirag said a leader should resign on moral grounds when voices of dissent start rising within the party and workers start questioning the leadership. “Tejashwi led the grand alliance (of opposition parties in Bihar) and his party saw its worst ever performance (in Lok Sabha polls). Tejashwi failed in carrying forward the legacy of his father (RJD chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad)…If you have failed, then you should take moral responsibility as well,” Chirag said.
Chirag also claimed that the RJD is on the verge of a split. “The way differences surfaced between the two brothers (Tejashwi and Tej Pratap) and they fielded their separate candidates…” Chirag said in reply to a question. He added that opposition members have also said that the rift between siblings was one of the big reasons for the RJD-led alliance’s poor performance – the BJP-JD(U)-LJP swept 39 of the state’s 40 Lok Sabha seats, with the Congress winning a solitary seat and the RJD drawing a blank.
The LJP leader also said that his party has started preparations for the Bihar Assembly polls, scheduled to be held in 2020 and claimed that the ND A will win more than 200 seats in the 243-member House.
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