The deputy chief minister of Bihar and the most prominent face of the state BJP, Sushil Kumar Modi, on Monday once again made it amply clear that his party had no alliance with the LJP (Lok Janshakti Party). Talking to the media persons three days after the death of Union Consumer Affairs minister and founder of the LJP Ram Vilas Paswan, the BJP leader said that the Lok Janshakti Party is not an NDA constituent and thus can in no way use the photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in its election posters.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal United, Hindustani Awam Morcha and Vikassheel Insan Party are the only four constituents of the National Democratic Alliance in Bihar,” he minced no words to make the stand of his party quite clear.
It was on October 6 that Sushil Modi for the first time made this statement. He was then holding a joint Press conference with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and announcing the seat-sharing arrangement between the four parties. A day later, while holding another Press conference with VIP leader, Mukesh Sahni, Sushil Modi reiterated his party’s stand vis-a-vis the LJP.
Curiously, while the LJP leader Chirag Paswan has repeatedly been targeting the chief minister and accusing him of the failures of the state government on various front Nitish refused to speak much against the Dalit leader.
Instead it was the BJP leader sitting beside him who chose to criticise the LJP. The Bihar unit president of the BJP, Sanjay Jaiswal, who too was present on the occasion too came down heavily on the LJP leadership for flaying the chief minister and added that Nitish Kumar is the chief ministerial face of the NDA.
The death of Ram Vilas on October 8 brought a temporary halt on the attack on LJP by the BJP leaders. Several senior ministers of the BJP, including the Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, were quick to pose before the media as good friends of the late LJP leader. The last rites of Ram Vilas were performed on Oct 10.
However, by Oct 12 everything returned to normal with the BJP renewing its attack on LJP. Analysts are of the view that the BJP is well aware that apparently the LJP may be trying to damage the JDU by putting up candidates against all its nominees but in the long run it is going to mar the poll prospects of the NDA as such. This is largely because many BJP leaders who could not get ticket of their own party have been made the LJP nominees. Any such move has the potential to indirectly support the Grand Alliance.