‘TDP, Kushwaha left’: Ram Vilas Paswan’s son delivers warning to ally BJP
Bihar politician Upendra Kushwaha’s exit from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), has emboldened another ally in the state to nudge the senior partner in a tweet. Chirag Paswan suggested a “timely and respectful” resolution by the BJP of outstanding issues with its remaining allies in Bihar.
Paswan’s nudge references Kushwaha’s RLSP as well as the Telugu Desam Party, another ally that walked out of the NDA earlier this year. “After TDP and RLSP’s exit from NDA... the alliance is going through a vulnerable phase. At this time the BJP should sort out issues of the remaining alliance partners timely and respectfully,” the 35-year-old tweeted.
The member of Parliament said he has had “several meetings with BJP leaders regarding seat sharing in alliance but nothing has been worked out yet,” and warned, “If this issue is not sorted timely there could be adverse impact of this.”
In October this year, the BJP and Janata Dal (United) of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar announced that they would contest an equal number of parliament seats in BIhar in a 50-50 formula, with some to be contested by smaller allies, Kushwaha’s RLSP and the LJP, led by union minster Ram Vilas Paswan, Chirag Paswan’s father.
BJP chief Amt Shah’s comment that it could entail a “sacrifice” by other allies led to speculation that they would be left very few seats to contest.
The smaller allies insisted they get to contest the same number of seats that they had in 2014 as allies of the BJP. The BJP had at that time split with the JDU; Nitish Kumar’s return last year to the NDA fold did not go down well with Upendra Kushwaha, who kept up a steady stream of attacks on the chief minister, finally walking out over what he called the BJP’s “betrayal.”
Of Bihar’s 40 seats, the BJP had contested 30 seats and had won 22, five years ago, while the LJP had contested seven seats and won six. Upendra Kushwaha’s party had contested and won three seats.
Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), hurting from the split with the BJP, had won only two Lok Sabha seats. He experimented with a grand alliance with arch rival Lalu Yada and the Congress in the Bihar assembly elections in 2015, but that partnership came apart in July last year after the chief minister resigned over graft charge against his then deputy, Tejashwi Yadav.
The Paswans’ LJP too has over the years partnered with both the BJP and Congress.