Paswan all set to align with BJP again
Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, which left NDA in 2002, is all set to align with BJP
New Delhi: Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, which left NDA in 2002, is all set to align with BJP in Bihar for Lok Sabha polls, giving a jolt to Congress’ plans to have a “secular” alliance with LJP and RJD.
The alliance between BJP and LJP is likely to be announced in a couple of days as the party’s Parliamentary Board authorised Paswan to take a final decision in this regard and did not hide its bitterness towards Lalu Prasad’s RJD.
“LJP Parliamentary Board has passed a resolution that all steps, even if they are strong ones, should be taken in the interest of the party and if an alternative alliance is to be firmed up, party chief Ram Vilas Paswan should take the decision”, Chirag Paswan, who heads the Parliamentary Board, told reporters.
He said that there was a “deadlock” on the issue of alliance between RJD-Congress and LJP.
To a question whether LJP will tie-up with BJP, he said that “all options are now open for the LJP”.
The LJP chief said members in the Parliamentary Board were of the opinion that the option of going with BJP should also be kept open.
Ram Vilas Paswan said :”We had our grievances with RJD for a long time. I had even gone to meet Lalu Prasad in jail. But soon after he was out, RJD leaders started saying LJP should be given three seats. That is why we left to Congress to decide the seat sharing. I waited for months, but there was no decision.”
“They assumed that LJP is nothing, it is irrelevant. If one takes 25 seats (RJD) and the other 15 (Cong). It means they do not treat LJP as part of the alliance…. That is why the party has authorised me to explore new alternative”.
LJP to take final call on poll tie-up with BJP
In indications of a tie-up with BJP for Lok Sabha polls, Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP is meeting on wednesday to take a final call on the issue.
A meeting of the LJP Parliamentary Board is being held at a time when the party is unhappy with the delay in firming up seat-sharing arrangement with Congress and RJD.
Chirag Paswan, son of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, who also heads the Parliamentary Board, has already said there is “distress” in LJP over the way the seat-sharing issue has been dragging with Congress and RJD.
Party sources said LJP has developed a trust deficit with RJD chief Lalu Prasad. LJP fears that RJD could field dummy candidates in some seats spared for it as was done last time, they said.
Several BJP leaders have met Chirag. Talk is that BJP has offered seven seats to LJP, which is pressing for nine seats in Bihar.
BJP MP Shahnawaz Hussain had called on LJP chief a few days back while senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad had visited Paswan on January 14 on the day of Makar Sankranti.
LJP sources said a final decision on the alliance issue with BJP is expected to be announced today.