Sulking LJP calls truce, says no question of quitting NDA
New Delhi: Sulking over the seat sharing formula for NDA allies announced yesterday for the Bihar polls, LJP today called truce after back to back meetings with top BJP leaders but insisted “there is no smoke without fire”.
“There was no anger but discontent as there was a difference between the seat sharing formula we were told about earlier and what was announced yesterday. So we were taken aback.
“We were not angry but definitely there were concerns in the party. We were shocked. There is no smoke without fire,” LJP Parliamentary Board Chairman Chirag Paswan told a press conference.
Chirag, a Lok Sabha MP and son of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who had a midnight meeting with Amit Shah late last night to iron out the differences, said the BJP chief told him there are certain “complusions in caolition dharma” and that he will try to accommodate the concerns of the LJP “as much as possible”.
“We have apprised the BJP chief about about our concerns. We are happy that our concerns have been honoured and we are moving towards a solution,” Chirag said.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also called on the LJP chief in the morning after which he downplayed the reports of continued differences, saying NDA accords due respect to suggestions of Paswan.
“Ram Vilas Paswan ji a leader of stature,” he said, recalling that leaders of all NDA allies had yesterday said they would work together to ensure the victory of the ruling alliance in Bihar assembly polls.
“There was no such demand (about more seats)….Nobody said any such thing (when Shah announced the seat sharing pact),” he said when asked whether the LJP was angry as it wanted more seats.
Ram Vilas Paswan refused to speak on the issue, saying he does not talk to the media about such things and left it to his son to clear the air.
LJP sources said there was a feeling in the party that Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and RLSP of Union minister Upendra Kushwaha got a “better deal” which was disproportionate to their political clout in the state.
Insisting that the alliance is intact, Chirag said his party has nothing against Kushwaha’s RLSP or Manjhi’s HAM getting more seats and described them as “family”.
“There is no reason–number of seats or anything else– due to which LJP would part ways with the BJP. There is no question of any dispute with Manjhi ji as his party cannot be given seats under any formula as he had neither contested Lok Sabha nor state Assemly polls in past.
“We are happy with whatever seats he has got. Our concern was that LJP should also have got seats on the basis of the formula under which RLSP got 23 seats,” he said.