'Listen to allies before it's too late': Chirag Paswan
Patna, Dec 18: The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP)'s Parliamentary Board chairman Chirag Paswan on Tuesday suggested that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) must address the concerns of the remaining constituents "before it is too late".
In a series of tweets, Chirag Paswan expressed disappointment over "no headway" despite "a number of meetings with the BJP leadership" over the issue of seat-sharing in Bihar.
Besides Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U), the LJP is the only constituent of the BJP-led NDA left in Bihar after the exit of the former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP).
"Following the exit of the TDP and the RLSP, the NDA is passing through trying times. In view of this, it is imperative that the BJP addresses the concerns of those still in the alliance in a timely and respectable manner", Paswan tweeted in Hindi.
Chirag's suggestion to the BJP comes less than a week after ally Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) quit the NDA over seat-sharing for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. On December 10, RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha had resigned from the Union Cabinet after a long drawn battle with its alliance partners.
Kushwaha, in his resignation letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said he was "dejected" and "betrayed" by the PM's leadership, according to reports.
Kushwaha had been sulking ever since the BJP and the JD(U), reportedly, reached an agreement that the two parties would contest 17 seats each in Bihar.
Under the arrangement, it was reported that RLSP was to be given two seats - one less than the number it had fought and won in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Bihar has 40 parliamentary seats.
The TDP, headed by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, had pulled out of the NDA a few months ago in protest against the truncated state not getting special assistance from the Centre, which was promised at the time of the creation of Telangana.
"No headway has been made on seat-sharing despite a number of meetings with leaders of the BJP. If things are not settled in time, it could prove to be damaging", the LJP leader, whose father Ram Vilas Paswan is a member of the Union cabinet, said in another tweet.
The LJP, which was previously with the Congress-led UPA, had joined the NDA ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and won six out of the seven seats it had contested. The party also got a ministerial berth in the state government when Nitish Kumar returned to the NDA last year.
Notably, Chirag Paswan had also expressed disapproval of raising issues like the Ayodhya Ram temple in elections after the BJP lost power in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.