‘Take feedback from people’: Nitish Kumar’s party after LJP’s ‘faith’ swipe

The Lok Janshakti Party on Wednesday demanded that the Bihar government fulfil its promise of providing three decimals of land to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes “so that faith in the present government continues”. The comment comes as the state elections draw near.

“The party has left decisions related to alliance and other issues to our president Chirag Paswan and welcomed JD (U)’s principal general secretary KC Tyagi’s statement that his party has alliance with the BJP,” said LJP’s principal general secretary Abdul Khalik after a meeting of party MP and senior leaders.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) reacted to the LJP’s demand in a guarded manner.

“Nitish Kumar has done a lot of work for Dalits in the last 15 years. One should go and take feedback from people on what he has done for the community,” said JD(U) spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan.

The HAM-S, which too had taken an aggressive posture after Chirag appeared to be targeting Nitish Kumar, heaped praise on LJP patriarch Ram Vilas Paswan today. “He is the biggest Dalit leader. Chirag is like a family member and whatever political difference is there in NDA will be sorted out,” HAM-S president Jitan Ram Manjhi told reporters.

Last week, Chirag Paswan, who heads the LJP, had said “his fight was not for seats and he will go with whatever the BJP decides”.

“I am with all the decisions of the BJP and I have nothing personal against chief minister Nitish Kumar. He is the CM and as a people’s representative, it is my duty to bring important issues concerning the masses to his notice,” he had said.

Chirag’s statement came soon after BJP president JP Nadda met the Bihar CM. Nadda reiterated that the NDA would fight the election under Nitish Kumar.

LJP leaders were informed of the Chirag’s meeting with BJP national president JP Nadda in New Delhi on Tuesday evening. Chirag advised the BJP to contest more seats and play the role of “big brother”, said people familiar with developments. The two are learnt to have discussed the seat-sharing arrangement as well.

The LJP, say people privy to the matter, is likely to contest over two dozen seats in assembly elections. “The party leaders decided to hand over the names of candidates to the central parliamentary board at the earliest,” said Khalik.

In the 2015 assembly elections, when the JD(U) was part of the Grand Alliance (GA), the LJP had contested 42 seats as part of the BJP-led NDA but could win just two.

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