New Delhi: The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), headed by Ram Vilas Paswan which left NDA in 2002 over the 2002 Gujarat riots, today gave clear indications of tying up with BJP in the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.
The new tie up that may come as a jolt to Congress' plans to have a “secular” alliance with his party and RJD is likely to be announced in the next few days as LJP's Parliamentary Board that met today authorised Paswan to take a final decision in this regard.
“The LJP Parliamentary Board has passed a resolution that all steps, even if they are strong ones, should be taken in the interest of the party and if an alternative alliance is to be firmed up party chief Ram Vilas Paswan should take the decision”, said his son Chirag Paswan, who heads the Parliamentary Board.
He told reporters that there was a “deadlock” on the issue of alliance between RJD-Congress and LJP.
To a question whether LJP will tie-up with BJP, he said that “all options are now open for the LJP”.
The LJP chief said members in the Parliamentary Board were of the opinion that the option of going with BJP should also be kept open.
“We had our grievances with RJD for a long time. I had even gone to meet Lalu Prasad in jail. But soon after he was out, RJD leaders started saying LJP should be given three seats. That is why we left it to Congress to decide the seat sharing. I waited for months, but there was no decision.
“They assumed that LJP is nothing, it is irrelevant. If one takes 25 seats (RJD) and the other 15 (Cong). It means they do not treat LJP as part of the alliance.... That is why the party has authorised me to explore new alternative,” Ram Vilas Paswan said.
BJP sources also said talks between the two parties regarding the alliance have reached an “advance” stage over seat sharing.
To questions about how he could align with Modi-led BJP when he had walked out of NDA Government in the wake of Gujarat riots, Paswan said “on the one hand there is personal emotion and on the other there is the party. The party is like my mother and its decision is binding on all”. He said options for an alternative alliance are now open after the LJP's decision today. He also dismissed suggestions that aligning with BJP would undermine his secular credentials.
“LJP will stick to its ideology. There is no need to tell the world that Ram Vilas Paswan is secular. Our party has suffered hugely for the cause of secularism. I had even left NDA when such an occasion arose,” Paswan said.
To questions whether LJP has no problems aligning with Narendra Modi-led BJP, Ram Vilas Paswan said, “Opinion in LJP is not against going with BJP. A decision on alliance will be taken in 3-4 days since the party has given the responsibility for it....