PATNA: In a significant development ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Chirag Paswan, the leader of a key faction of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), has returned to the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA). This realignment provides a major boost for the coalition’s electoral prospects. Paswan affirmed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has addressed all his concerns and expressed confidence that the alliance will secure victory in all 40 seats in Bihar.
Paswan, who had been sidelined after the 2019 assembly elections, recently presented his demands to Union Home Minister and BJP’s chief strategist, Amit Shah. The Bihar leader clarified that he had never harbored any issues with the BJP itself but had separated from the alliance in 2020 due to differences with Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar at the time.
“In 2020, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was a part of the NDA, and our party did not agree with his policies. We wanted to prioritize ‘Bihar first, Biharis first,’ but the Bihar CM held divergent views. Our opinions and ideas were being disregarded,” Paswan explained.
With Nitish Kumar no longer aligned with the NDA, Paswan and his faction decided to rejoin forces with the BJP. He made it clear that his party would contest from Hajipur, a Lok Sabha seat currently held by his estranged uncle and Union Minister, Pashupati Kumar Paras.
According to ANI, Paswan said, I definitely say that I will contest the Lok Sabha elections from Hajipur only. It is not right to share the talks that took place with the BJP on a public platform but it is certain that Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) will contest the Lok Sabha election from Hajipur.
“I don’t think that there is a big challenge in Bihar because the credibility of Nitish Kumar ji has come under question mark due to change of alliance regularly” he added.
Earlier this week, Paras reiterated his claim on the Hajipur seat, stating, “He (Chirag) has no standing in Hajipur. I wonder why he is spending his time there.” Paswan brushed off the remark, asserting that seat distribution would be decided through internal discussions within the alliance.
Nitish Kumar’s departure from the NDA last year and his formation of a Grand Alliance with all parties in Bihar, except the two factions of LJP, had left the BJP isolated. This had posed a challenging task for the BJP to maintain its electoral hold in Bihar in the 2024 elections.
#WATCH | Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan, says, " People of Bihar are not accepting the 'Mahagathbandhan'. NDA will win all 40 seats of Bihar in 2024 and NDA govt will be formed in Bihar in 2025." pic.twitter.com/xihniel0z1— ANI (@ANI) July 18, 2023
In the 2019 elections, out of Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha constituencies, the NDA won 39 seats, with 17 seats going to the BJP, 16 to Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United), and 6 to the LJP. The Congress secured one seat, while Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal, then in the opposition, failed to win any seats.
The return of Chirag Paswan to the NDA marks a significant development in Bihar’s political landscape, setting the stage for a keenly contested 2024 Lok Sabha election in the state.
Source: Google News