Ahead of the upcoming Bihar assembly elections, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) decided to go solo even though a reasonable number of seats was offered to it and several attempts at negotiations were made.
In an exclusive interview to Editor-in-chief Rahul Joshi, Shah said, “As far as the coalition of BJP-JDU-LJP is concerned, the LJP was offered a reasonable number of seats time and again by both, the BJP and the JDU. There were also several negotiations held. I personally spoke to Chirag many times.”
Spelling out the reason behind the failed negotiations, he said, “This time, we have new coalition members, therefore the number of seats per party was bound to go down. The JDU and BJP also gave away a few seats. But it couldn’t materialise eventually with the LJP. There were also one-sided comments made, the result of which was reflected on party workers, therefore it was becoming difficult to stay in one camp. However, even after that we did not break the coalition, they made the official announcement to do so.”
On whether the LJP may be back in NDA post elections, Shah said, “The people of Bihar understand why and because of who the coalition was broken. We will see after elections on whether the LJP joins the NDA. We are opponents now and will contest accordingly.”
Earlier this month, the LJP had walked out of the ruling NDA in Bihar after attacking Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and announcing it would fight JD(U) candidates in the elections. Paswan will start campaigning for his party’s 143 candidates from October 21.
“Although PM Modi is in my heart and I believe in his ideologies and development model, the LJP is not using his photograph in its posters. Moreover, Nitish ji seems to be more desperate to use the PM’s photos in his posters than anyone else. He knows there is heavy anti-incumbency against him and is probably thinking that PM Modi’s image might save him,” Paswan had said earlier.