Rajya Sabha seat: NDA likely to give LJP the cold shoulder
New Delhi, Nov 25: The NDA is likely to give the LJP the cold shoulder and put up a joint candidate, preferably from the BJP to fill the Rajya Sabha seat that fell vacant following the death of LJP leader, Ram Vilas Paswan.
While the LJP has a natural claim to the seat, the BJP is taking into account the objections raised by the Janata Dal (U), which is upset with Chirag Paswan who put up candidates against its nominees in the recent assembly elections.
Paswan's term in the Rajya Sabha was till April 2, 2024. This would mean that the new incumbent to the seat would have a term of almost 4 years. Reports said that the JD(U) leadership had already intimated the BJP about its reservations about the LJP's nominee.
There were reports that Chirag was keen on making his mother Reena Paswan the candidate for the seat arguing it would be the right tribute to his father.
LJP leader Chirag Paswan had defended his decision of fielding candidates against the JD(U) in large numbers in the Bihar assembly polls which hugely damaged its prospects, saying he wanted Nitish Kumar''s party to be "emaciated" and succeeded in the endeavour.
He also declared he will not support the new government in Bihar if the NDA stuck to its promise of retaining Nitish Kumar as the chief minister despite the JD (U)''s diminished numbers in the assembly.
"We never concealed our intentions. We believed the JD(U) headed by Kumar needed to be emaciated and we succeeded. We wanted to make the BJP stronger and its heft has increased unquestionably," Paswan said.
Addressing a press conference here, Paswan said he was happy that the BJP had emerged "much bigger and stronger" in Bihar, and ruled out any possibility of a truck with the opposition Grand Alliance, comprising RJD, Congress and three Left parties, citing "ideological differences".
He also asserted that the LJP displayed "courage" in going solo and ended up with a better vote share though it could not convert into seats.
Paswan, whose party fared abysmally securing just one seat in the assembly elections, said the LJP did not wish to carry the tag of "pichhlaggu", the one who rides piggy back.
The 37-year-old, whose brinkmanship has been blamed by leaders like Sushil Kumar Modi, a BJP veteran and Deputy Chief Minister, for the NDA's sub-optimal performance, hopeful that his relations with the BJP at the Centre will not be affected since many allies of the saffron party, including the JD(U), have in the past challenged it electorally in states.