Paswan justifies criminals in LJP
Q: You are just back from a tour of Bihar. What was the mood of the electorate there?
A: I would say, overwhelming. People turned out in large numbers to listen to me. Even in a relatively obscure place like Sakra in Muzaffarpur, people attended my election rally in huge numbers. Going by their response, it's clear that people in Bihar now want change. The wind is blowing in LJP's favour.
Q: What would be the issues against the ruling RJD this time?
A: The issues will be the same, corruption, backwardness of the state, poor law and order situation, among others.
Q: But despite these issues being highlighted in the previous assembly polls, RJD has remained rooted to power for more than a decade now. Why do you still think that your party will be able to dismantle the RJD in the state?
A: The elections this year are going to be different from the previous ones. Major difference is that in these polls, Paswan is contesting alone. The very fact that the Lok Janashakti Party is going to polls alone will give the minority votes an option. The Muslims, for example, will vote for us, besides the dalits.
Q: Does that mean LJP is no more considering an alliance with JD (U)?
A: The alliance prospects with the JD (U) are a closed chapter now. After Fernandes's statement that his party wouldn't quit the NDA, there is no question of aligning with them.
Q: But only a couple of days ago, you again made an offer to the JD (U) for a pre-poll alliance?
A: See, LJP as a party doesn't want the electorate in Bihar to perceive that due to its rigid stance on certain issues, anti-RJD forces couldn't unite. Therefore, I have always tried to forge an alliance with the JD (U). I even offered Nitish Kumar the post of chief ministership if his party aligned with LJP. At the same time, I have also made it clear that the alliance is possible, only if it severs its ties with the communal BJP.