Any decision on LJP after Bihar election: Amit Shah


(This story originally appeared in on Oct 18, 2020)

PATNA: Union home minister and senior BJP functionary Amit Shah said on Saturday that several rounds of negotiations were held with LJP chief Chirag Paswan, but he took the decision to part ways with the NDA. Shah also made it clear that any possibility of LJP’s return to NDA can be looked into only after the Bihar election.

“Only Chirag ji can answer why he is not with us … BJP and JD(U) offered sufficient number of seats to LJP several times. I also talked to Chirag bhai many times to come for negotiations if he wanted few more seats,” Shah said in an interview to a TV channel.

He added: “When JD(U) joined us, we were required to make compromises and the number of seats was obviously going to be less for both BJP and LJP. However, he (Chirag) started making one-sided statements leading to reactions from both BJP and JD(U) workers. Still, we did not break the alliance and a formal announcement in this regard was made by him (Chirag) only.”

When asked if Chirag could return to NDA fold in future, Shah said: “We will see after the election. Right now we are fighting against each other.”

He said all workers of BJP, JD(U), HAM (S) and VIP were leaving no stone unturned for the NDA victory. “We have made a sold social engineering and are hopeful of an impressive victory.”

When asked whether LJP would cut into the NDA votes, Shah said: “We have got new allies in HAM (S) and VIP. Nevertheless, people of Bihar understand who is responsible for the alliance break-up.”

But Chirag, even on Friday, said if PM Modi and Shah had asked him not to part with the NDA, he would have given a thought to it. Though Chirag has made his exit from the NDA, he keeps saying that PM Modi is in his heart.

Incidentally, Modi is to launch his poll campaign in Bihar on October 23 and he is to address 12 physical rallies.

On Friday, Chirag presented himself as the mythological Hanuman of implied Ram he saw in Modi. It invited harsh comments from BJP leaders, who said Chirag was no longer a part of the NDA and his party is a ‘votekatwa’ (that cuts into the votes) of the NDA.

Chirag objects to ‘votekatwa’ jibe: Reacting to BJP functionaries for using ‘votekatwa’ word for his party, Chirag on Saturday said he understands that they are under pressure from Nitish. “They are the same people who were very close friends of my father (Ram Vilas Paswan). I was not expecting this from them. It has not been even a week since the demise of my father and these people were paying their tributes to him. They should realize that they are making remarks about a man, who was their cabinet colleague. If we were votekatwa, why did they join us in 2014 and 2019 general elections,” Chirag told reporters in Patna.

“I have taken this decision solely that I will fight this election against JD(U). And all wining candidates of my party will support BJP and PM Modi. BJP-LJP will form the government in state,” he reiterated.

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