New Delhi: After much speculation and conflict, the BJP on Tuesday rebuffed Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party’s move to desert the ruling alliance and asserted that Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (United) will be their chief minister regardless of “which party gets how many seats”.
For the first time ever, the ruling JDU-BJP alliance has struck an equal seat-sharing partnership on a 122-121 formula, while giving one extra seat to the Nitish Kumar party for the upcoming polls. In elections prior to this, the NDA alliance had contested on a 1:4:1 formula where the BJP had just over a 100 seats, as opposed to JDU’s 140.
Notably, while the JDU has announced seven seats to accommodate former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S), the BJP is expected to include the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) of Mukesh Sahani, who walked out of the Mahagathbandhan a few days ago, after LJP chief Chirag Paswan’s decision to contest solo.
Nitish Kumar vs. Chirag Paswan
After months of bashing the Nitish Kumar government, the Paswan’s LJP finally decided to contest independently, against the JDU but not against the BJP, which it considers an ally. Chirag Paswan even proposed a pre-poll tie-up with the saffron party.
However, his efforts were completely snubbed by the BJP after it said today that the party will “unequivocally” support Nitish Kumar to be the next chief minister of Bihar.
“We have said unequivocally that Nitish Kumar will be our CM. It doesn’t matter which party gets how many seats in polls,” said Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi.
Earlier today, BJP leader Sanjay Jaiswal also asserted that any party who wants to be a part of the NDA ‘gathbandhan’ has to accept Nitish Kumar’s leadership.
“Nitish Kumar is the leader of NDA in Bihar, all talks in Bihar ‘gathbandhan‘ are being held under his leadership. BJP accepts his leadership in the state, whoever accepts Nitish Kumar Ji’s leadership will be part of NDA ‘gathbandhan‘,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister hit out at Chirag Paswan remarking his comments as “inconsequential”.
“Ram Vilas Paswan is unwell. We want him to recover. Did he reach Rajya Sabha without JDU’s help? How many seats do they have in Bihar Vidhan Sabha? Two. So, BJP-JD(U) gave him a ticket to Rajya Sabha. What do we have to do with what someone says?
I believe in doing my job. If some people derive pleasure out of saying something inconsequential, they are most welcome to do so. It doesn’t bother me,” the CM said.
BJP releases candidate list
While losing its state vice president Rajendra Singh to LJP in presence of party chief Chirag Paswan, the BJP released its list of 27 candidates for Bihar polls, giving a ticket to gold medalist shooter Shreyasi Singh who will be contesting from Jamui.