New Delhi: As Bihar is ahead of the crucial state Assembly polls scheduled later this year, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leaders have demanded to field candidates on the seats contested by the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U). The move will lead to a major crack in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar.
The LJP also asked the BJP to contest on more seats than the ruling JD-U in the state. All the MPs and former MPs of the party raised the demands were during the meeting held at the residence of LJP supremo Chirag Paswan.
All the MPs and former MPs of the LJP demanded that the BJP should contest more seats than the JD-U in Bihar, said a party source present in the meeting.
"Former MP Kali Pandey demanded that the LJP should announce candidates on seats which are being contested by the JD-U in the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections," the source said.
The LJP and the JD-U have been trading barbs at each other over last few months. Chirag Paswan has openly criticised Nitish Kumar over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier, Paswan had even shot off several letters to Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United chief Nitish Kumar about the law and order situation in the state, the flood situation and lack of employment opportunities for migrant workers.
However, Kumar had not replied to any letter of Paswan, that has irked the party leadership.
During the September 7 meeting of the LJP parliamentary board, the party decided to draw up the candidates' list for 143 out of 243 seats in the state. Its leaders reportedly demanded that the party must not contest the elections under Nitish Kumar's leadership.
The party source said that during the meeting, the party leaders also hailed the projects launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bihar in the last one week.
The LJP leaders also slammed the Bihar government over the rise of 'officialism' in the state, the party source said.
During the meeting, Chirag Paswan and all the other party members opposed the works being done by Nitish Kumar in Bihar and accused him of not fulfilling his poll promise of providing three decimal land to the poor in the state.
The party leaders also passed a resolution condemning the statement of JD-U MP Lalan Singh's on the Prime Minister.
They also welcomed the statement of JD-U General Secretary KC Tyagi that LJP did not have an alliance with his party.
The LJP source further said that Chirag Paswan had held a meeting with BJP President JP Nadda on Tuesday night, where both the leaders discussed the projects inaugurated by Narendra Modi in the poll-bound state.
The party source close to the LJP chief said that during the meeting, Chirag Paswan had asked Nadda to contest more seats than the JD-U. The source also claimed that the meeting of the two leaders ahead of the announcement of the poll dates was a positive sign.
According to JD-U sources, the key issue behind the recent friction between Nitish Kumar and the LJP chief is seat-sharing for the Bihar assembly elections.
The source said that Chirag Paswan is eyeing to contest at least 43 seats in the assembly elections but Nitish Kumar is not in a mood to give more than 25-30 seats to the LJP.
The LJP, which fought the 2015 assembly elections with the BJP as the ally partner, contested on 55 seats and managed to win just two seats. The LJP finished runner up in 36 assembly seats and managed to get 4.8 per cent vote share.
The Election Commission had said earlier this month that the elections for the 243- member Bihar Assembly will be completed by November 29.
(With inputs from IANS)