Meeting invite to LJP brings out Bihar NDA divide

Meeting invite to LJP brings out Bihar NDA divide

Chirag Paswan skipped the meeting citing health reasons

Lok Janshakti Party Chief Chirag Paswan. Credit: PTI Photo

Bharatiya Janata Party's sent an invite to Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janashakti Party to attend an NDA meeting, something that created heart-burns in the lead NDA ally in Bihar, JD-U, led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Chirag Paswan skipped the meeting citing health reasons and reiterated that JDU considers LJP a part of NDA. He recalled LJP fielding candidates against JDU nominees in last year's Bihar polls.

A lot has changed in the political dynamics of Bihar NDA since the October 2020 Assembly polls, when Chirag Paswan fielded candidates from his party in a number of seats vowing to defeat the JDU while still singing paeans of the BJP leadership.

While BJP and JDU stuck together to form the next government in the state, Chirag Paswan who had refrained from attacking RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav during most of his election campaign, showed signs of warming up to the other side. Chirag’s father late Ram Vilas Paswan and Lalu Prasad were old friends and allies.

When an ailing Lalu Prasad was shifted to AIIMS for treatment last week, Chirag wished a speedy recovery to “guardian” Prasad. Chirag, who had been praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah, later also, thanked them profusely for giving Padma Bhushan award to his father posthumously. He noted that the Prime Minister always stood by his father and kept his respect for him even after his death.

LJP has recently lost a nomination for the Rajya Sabha seat held by late senior Paswan, which went to Sushil Kumar Modi in November 2020.

BJP’s repeated invite to LJP is seen as pin-pricks to JDU, which is no longer the lead party in the NDA alliance in Bihar.