The Lok Janshakti Party has walked out of the ruling National Democratic Alliance in Bihar ahead of the state assembly polls, as it attacked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and announced that it would fight JD(U) candidates in the elections.
While making its resentment with the JD(U) president Kumar clear, the LJP also went to great lengths to highlight its strong ties with the BJP, asserting in a statement that it wants the saffron party to head the future government in the state and its MLAs will work towards this goal. LJP president Chirag Paswan chaired the party's parliamentary board meeting in which a decision was taken to not fight the assembly election, which begins from October 28 in three phases, under Kumar's leadership of the NDA in the state. The BJP, which heads the NDA, has already announced that the alliance will fight the polls under Kumar's leadership, and he will be chief minister again if people vote it back to power.
"Due to ideological differences with the JD(U), a member of the alliance at the national level and in the assembly polls, the Lok Janshakti Party has decided to fight the elections in Bihar separately from the alliance," a party statement said. "We will triumph," was the brief comment of Chirag Paswan as he sported a victory sign after the meeting.
However, the LJP is likely to continue as the member of the NDA at the Centre as of now, more so as its patron and the only member in the Modi government, Ram Vilas Paswan, has undergone a heart surgery in the national capital and will remain hospitalised for a few weeks. The BJP's relations with the regional party have remained cordial, and the LJP has maintained that it will not contest against candidates of the saffron party.
The LJP also said that it has no "bitterness" with the BJP and has often lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership.
However, the LJP's decision has thrown open new possibilities in the Bihar polls as the party may end up damaging the JD(U)'s prospects at several seats. The opposition alliance of the RJD, Congress and the Left may receive a boost with the development.