LJP president Chirag Paswan (left), Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar (centre) and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi.
NEW DELHI: A churning is on among the NDA allies ahead of the Bihar assembly elections which are likely to be held in October and November. The internal fight may finally settle down, but the scenario at the moment presents a largely confusing picture of the alliance ruling both at the centre and in Bihar.
The NDA alliance at the Centre comprises, among others, two Bihar-centric political parties. While JD(U) is led by chief minister Nitish Kumar, LJP is headed by Union food and public distribution minister Ramvilas Paswan's son Chirag Paswan.
Though JD(U) is a part of the NDA, it does not have any representation in the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre. The BJP is believed to have offered two berths in the Union government after the NDA came to power for the second consecutive term in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. But JD(U) is said to have declined the offer as it thought that it deserved to get more berths.
The JD(U) may not be a part of the NDA government at the Centre, but it is the senior partner in Bihar, where Nitish Kumar is heading the NDA government. JD(U) had won 71 while the BJP 53 seats in the 243-member state assembly in the 2015 state polls.
JD(U) had contested the 2015 assembly elections as a Mahagathbanhan partner with Lalu Prasad-led RJD and the Congress and formed the government. However, it quit the coalition to again stitch an alliance with the BJP. Sushil Modi of the BJP returned as the deputy chief minister.
The case of Paswans' LJP is opposite to that of JD(U). While JD(U) is not a part of the NDA at the Centre but is heading the coalition government in Bihar, LJP is a part of the Modi-led dispensation but is not a part of the Nitish Kumar-headed government in Bihar.
Infact, LJP has been taking potchots at the Nitish Kumar government at intervals over issues such as alleged violation of prohibition laws, road construction and public distribution system. Paswans son and Lok Sabha MP Chirag Paswan has issues warnings to the state government over these alleged irregularities.
The LJP is reportedly cross with JD(U) for inducting former chief minister and HAM(S) president Jitan Ram Manjhi in the NDA fold. Manjhi, a Dalit, is likely to cut into the votes of LJP, the biggest political player in Bihar as far as the Scheduled Castes (SCs) are concerned.
Dalits constitute about 16 per cent of Bihars population. HAM(S) would reportedRead More – Source