The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) will not contest the upcoming Bihar elections with the BJP-led NDA due to “ideological differences” with Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), the party announced on Sunday. Both LJP and JD(U) are key allies of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar.
“We share a strong alliance with the BJP at the national level and in Lok Sabha elections. Due to ideological differences at the state level and in the Assembly elections with the JDU, the LJP has decided to pull out of the (NDA) alliance in Bihar and fight the Assembly elections separately,” LJP national general secretary Abdul Khaliq said in a statement.
He, however, said that the LJP-BJP collaboration will remain intact even as the party severes ties with the JD(U). “After the state elections, all the candidates who win will form a BJP-LJP government and follow the path of development shown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the statement read.
The LJP will put up candidates against Nitish Kumar’s party, however, the party will not field its candidates against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Chirag Paswan’s party took the decision at a crucial meeting of its parliamentary board held in Delhi today afternoon.
The LJP, one of the key allies of the ruling NDA in Bihar, had called the meeting to decide today whether to accept the seat-sharing arrangements proposed by the BJP-led coalition or go solo in the three-phase Assembly elections, which begins from October 28.
The meeting was earlier scheduled to be held on Saturday evening but was postponed after LJP patron and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s health deteriorated and he was admitted to a hospital in Delhi for heart surgery.
On Saturday, Chirag shared his “Bihar first Bihari first” a vision document of the LJP on Twitter, and sought people’s blessings.
The LJP and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) – both NDA allies were sparring over the past few months over several issues including the Nitish Kumar government’s handling of the coronavirus situation, the migrant crisis, and the recent floods.
The BJP was trying to iron out the differences between the two alliance partners and its top leaders, including BJP president JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah recently held a meeting with LJP chief Chirag Paswan to resolve the internal bickering and end the impasse over the seat-sharing arrangement.
Bihar will go to polls in three phases on October 28, November 3, and 7 and the results will be announced on November 10. The politically-crucial state will see the ruling BJP-led NDA locking horns with the RJD-Congress alliance.