Bihar elections: Don’t waste a single vote on JD(U), says Chirag Paswan
A day after walking out of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Chirag Paswan on Monday penned an open letter to people of the state, once again attacking incumbent Nitish Kumar government’s ‘seven resolves’ developmental programme, and the approach of the Janta Dal (United), or JD(U), towards its allies.
On Sunday, the LJP had said that it would fight the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections separately and not as a part of the JD(U)-BJP alliance. The party, however, had reiterated that its differences were limited to the JD (U), and that it continues to support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as an NDA ally at the Centre.
In an emotionally charged letter, Chirag urged the people “not to waste even a single vote by voting for a JD(U) candidate” and went on to say that Bihar would have a BJP-LJP government after the polls next month.
“Every vote going to the JD(U) candidate will compel your children to migrate from the state. It is a do-or-die battle for 12-crore Bihar people, and we have nothing to lose. I know the way forward for the LJP is not going to be easy, but then it has not been easy for the people of Bihar for the last three decades either,” he wrote.
The LJP president also said that the decision to fight against the JD(U) was taken on the basis of suggestions received from the common people. “And it (the decision to contest polls separately) is not to rule Bihar, but to feel proud of the state (Bihar par raaj karne ke liye nahin, balki Bihar par naaz karne ke liye),” he added.
He further wrote that some people might try to mislead the voters by attributing other motives to his decision. “But let me tell you, the new government in the state will be BJP-led, comprising the LJP, and the elected MLAs of the party will strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he added.
Bihar BJP’s general secretary, Devesh Kumar, said that party’s national president JP Nadda had already announced that NDA’s CM candidate will be Nitish Kumar. “We are fighting election under Nitish Kumar’s leadership,” he added.
Attacking the Nitish Kumar government on development and governance issues, he alleged that people’s grievances were neither redressed at the level of local officers nor at the CM’s level in the state. “This has resulted in the development of LJP’s ‘Bihar First, Bihari First’ vision document on the suggestions of four lakh people of Bihar,” he wrote.
Referring to his ailing father, founder of LJP and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Chirag wrote that he derived strength from him and his five-decade of social and political life. “I am also worried about him. Seeing him in the hospital surrounded by all kinds of equipment is not easy. But with his blessings, I will go to the people with a promise to realise their dreams,” he added.
Chirag had on Sunday tweeted about a heart surgery his father had undergone at a Delhi hospital.
“My father always said that party interest is above personal interest and the national interest overrides everything. Today, my decision is in the interest of the country and Bihar. I know my father will also feel proud of me, though working in his company would have been even better,” he wrote.
JD(U) spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan on Monday said Chirag’s political journey has so far been in the shadow of his father, and this election would be a big test for him. “Being ambitious is not wrong, but being unrealistic certainly is. The benchmark of development set by Nitish Kumar is for all to see and feel. Nitish Kumar walks the talk, while some people talk and walk away. Nitish Kumar has already brought visible changes in the life of people, who will no more be swayed by empty promises, no matter which side they come from,” he added.
On Chirag’s claim of a potential BJP-LJP government ,Ranjan said it was a classic case of ‘one-sided love’. “The pain of one-sided love will be borne by the LJP. BJP has announced that NDA will contest election under Nitish Kumar’s leadership and that explains everything,” he added.