The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) today said it wouldn’t contest the Bihar assembly election under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar because of “ideological differences”. The LJP proposed a separate alliance with the BJP.
In the 2015 Bihar assembly election, none of the small parties that were allies of the BJP — Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM, Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP — could make a mark.
According to a statement released by Paswan’s party, the LJP wants a BJP-led government in Bihar just like the one at the centre.
An LJP parliamentary board meeting, which its president Chirag Paswan chaired, passed a resolution in favour of an alliance with the BJP. It said its MLAs would work to strengthen the hand of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “At the national level and in Lok Sabha elections, LJP shares a strong alliance with the BJP,” LJP national general secretary Abdul Khaliq said.
“We have no issue with the BJP. LJP will contest in all seats where JD(U) will put its candidates,” the party said.
The development assumes significance, with less than a week to go before the end of the filing of nominations for the first of the three-phase election.
Yesterday, the opposition grand alliance aka Mahagathbandhan had announced its seat-sharing pact under which the Tejashwi Yadav-led RJD would contest 144 of the 243 assembly seats while the Congress would fight 70 seats. The remaining 29 seats have been given to the three Left allies — CPM four, CPI six and CPI (M-L) 19.
The Bihar assembly election is scheduled in three phases on 28 October, 3 November and 7 November. The counting of votes will take place on 10 November.
This meeting of the LJP was supposed to be held on 3 October. But it was postponed owing to the ill health of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan. The minister was admitted to a hospital in Delhi where he underwent heart surgery earlier today.
The BJP central election committee is meeting later in the evening to finalise the party’s candidates for the three-phase assembly election.