LJP did well, will fight 2025 elections: Chirag Paswan
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief, Chirag Paswan, on Wednesday defended his decision of targeting the Janata Dal- United president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in the assembly elections and said that his party performed well.
The LJP could win only one of the 137 seats it had contested, though its presence with 25 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rebel leaders did manage to cut JD (U) size and bring its number much below the BJP figures for the first time since 2005. JD(U) won on 43 seats while BJP won 74. However, it still left Nitish Kumar with enough to remain the pivot for state politics – something Chirag did not want.
Addressing a press conference, the LJP chief said, “LJP has done well. We were at second place at many places, while at some places we lost by less than 2,000-3,000 votes. This gives us the platform to fight 2025 elections with full force.
The circumstances in which we had to fight election are hidden from none... We did not have enough time to strategise, yet we got higher vote percentage than before.”
Fifteen-years ago, his father, late Ram Vilas Paswan had helped install Kumar in Bihar by dislodging the 15-year Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) government. In 2005 elections, the LJP under late Ram Vilas Paswan had contested 204 seats, but won just 10. Yet, it was content for having played its part in bringing down the RJD regime. Chirag adopted the same tactic, but at a huge cost of complete decimation of his own party, which ended LJP’s chance of emerging as a kingmaker. However, despite near wipeout, Chirag is happy for having done well enough in terms of vote share.
Chirag said the LJP got around 25 lakh votes. “In all the alliances, there were around 4-5 parties, while the LJP fought on its own and we did well... We would have been happy to win more seats for a BJP-LJP government, but that couldn’t happen. But my resolve has only got stronger to work for a better Bihar.”
On his future plans, Chirag said the LJP is a part of the NDA at the Centre. “I am happy that the people of Bihar have reposed faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Only Narendra Modi can take Bihar on the path of progress,” he added.
Political analyst Sandeep Shastri had, on Tuesday, said the strategy for the LJP to go it alone may have backfired but the party acted as a major vote-cutter for the JD(U). “At the end of the day, LJP has not achieved anything... it has caused a major decline in the JD(U)’s seat count.”
However, Shastri added that Chirag may have inevitably damaged the role his party would play in the future of Bihar politics. “Whatever his father Ram Vilas Paswan worked to achieve, the social identity, has been undone,” said Shastri.
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