The national vice president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, on Sunday claimed that Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) will soon be a part of the Grand Alliance in Bihar even as the BJP-led NDA announced seat six seats for him. Speaking exclusively to News Nation, Singh said that the seat-sharing pact announced by the NDA partners in Bihar was verbal distribution and the real tussle would be the selection of seats and Paswan will not stay there. The RJD leader also claimed that the NDA alliance, which had won 32 of the total 40 seats in Bihar in 2014, will hardly reach the double digits in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“This is a verbal distribution. They will face the real hurdle during the selection of seats. Paswan will not stay there, like Kushwaha he will also be a part of Congress-JDS-led Grand Alliance,” the RJD vice president told News Nation.
The statement from the top RJD leader came minutes after the NDA allies in Bihar – BJP, JDU and Paswan’s LJP, in a joint press conference announced seat-sharing pact for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Bihar. The press conference was attended by BJP president Amit Shah, RJD chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, his son Chirag Paswan.
As per the seat sharing formula decided among the NDA allies, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Nitish Kumar’s JDU will contest 17 seats each while Paswan’s LJP was given 6 seats. The BJP has also offered a Rajya Sabha seat to Paswan’s party as well. The LJP’s seat share increased from four to 6 after Upendra Kushwaha’s exit over the depleted number of seats offered to him.
After Kushwaha’s exit, Chirag Paswan had last week warned the BJP of “consequences” if the party didn’t finalise the seat-sharing pact. The Paswans were reportedly concerned about the Rajya Sabha seat which the BJP was reluctant to give to them. However, facing the revolt from smaller allies, the BJP was forced to give up the upper house seat.
Soon after the announcement, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav took a dig at the BJP said the party having 22 MPs will contest on just 17 seats tell what its condition is.
"The LJP and JDU got the benefits of asking PM Modi questions about the demonetisation after 2 years. In spite of having 22 parliamentarians in Bihar, the BJP is only contesting 17 seats and Nitish-ji, who has 2 MPs, will also fight 17 seats. Now you can understand in what condition the NDA is in," he tweeted.