New Delhi, Nov 13 : The Lok Janshakti Party, which is ready to contest the Assembly elections in Jharkhand alone on 50 seats, has made it clear that it doesn’t want to contest polls on a token seat.
The party has gone its own way from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and has announced that it will contest alone on 50 out of the 81 seats.
The LJP’s national President and son of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Chirag Paswan told IANS on Wednesday “Last time (previous Assembly elections) the Bharatiya Janata Party allowed the LJP to contest on just one seat. But this time the LJP has made it clear that we won’t contest on any token seat. We will contest the election only on the seat where our party has a public base”.
Junior Paswan who took over the party reigns earlier this month said “Last time we were given the Shikaripada seat where we did not have any candidate also. If the BJP does it again, we are not ready”.
The LJP is a part of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.
He said the LJP has strengthened in the state in the recent past and the party’s state unit wanted to go solo in the Assembly elections. Still, we demanded six seats from the BJP but the efforts went in vain.
Chirag said “I made an honest effort by contacting the BJP’s central leadership and demanded six seats to contest. But we could not get their consent. Therefore, the LJP has decided to contest this election alone”.
However, he made it clear that even if the LJP wins any seat in the election, it will support the NDA. “We are with the NDA at the Centre and state as well,” he said.
Replying to a query about the impact of the LJP’s decision to go solo in the election, he said it won’t affect the alliance.
“If some opposition parties are happy that they (BJP and LJP) lack coordination in Jharkhand and Shiv Sena has gone its own way in Maharashtra, they should not be overwhelmed,” said Paswan.
He said we had no alliance in Jharkhand, our pact is based on Bihar. We entered into an alliance in Bihar under which we contest the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections there together.
Chirag added that the BJP, LJP and the Janata Dal (United) would contest the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections together.
We will win more than 225 seats in the Assembly elections in Bihar like we won 39 out of 40 seats during the Lok Sabha elections. Chief Minister (Nitish Kumar) will retain power, he said.
The LJP chief said that the party will contest the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections alone.
Asked about the imposition of President’s Rule in Maharashtra and the break-up between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, he said “People of Maharashtra have given a clear mandate to the NDA. People wanted to form a government under NDA but the decisions from parties and their political aspirations took things to President’s Rule. It’s unfortunate”.
The LJP has announced the candidates for 10 seats in Jharkhand. The state will go to the polls in five phases between November 30 and December 20 while counting is scheduled for December 23.
(P.K. Jha can be contacted at [email protected])