Patna: Union Food Minister Ramvilas Paswan today expressed doubt over merger prospect of erstwhile Janata Parivar comprising the RJD and JD(U) and predicted that it will never materialise at the end.
“I have serious doubt that the merger of the erstwhile Janata Parivar will ever take place as those prominent leaders of its constituents may squabble over leadership of the proposed new party,” he told reporters. Describing the Janata Parivar as a ‘misleading family,' Paswan said there was no clarity over concept or agenda on which its constituents will come together to form a new outfit as the leadership issue remained a grey area.
The Union Food Minister, whose party - the LJP - is a constituent of the NDA government at the Centre, sought to create a wedge between the Yadav leaders of the Janata Parivar and the senior JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar saying that as far as he could make out, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and the JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav will call the shots in the unified Janata Parivar. “What will be the role of Nitish Kumar in the new political party in which the Yadav troika will be calling the shots?” the LJP supremo asked.
“I have experience of working with both the RJD supremo and Nitish Kumar....I can safety say that the Janata Parivar will face a bleak prospect in the upcoming assembly polls as both of them can not get their respective votes transferred to each other's candidate,” he claimed.
Paswan, who had broken away from the RJD ahead of the general elections last year to re-join the NDA under Narendra Modi's leadership, charged the RJD supremo with being a wily politician who will not allow Nitish Kumar to prosper in the unified party.
“Lalu will not get votes of Yadava community transferred to Nitish Kumar's candidates during assembly polls although he will say so in as many words,” the LJP chief said, adding that his RJD counterpart has a tendency to display camaraderie in public with political ‘friends', but doing exactly opposite by giving subtle message to his supporters against voting for such friends and their candidates during elections.
He had been a victim of the former's machination in the past on quite a few occasions, Paswan said.
With the BJP assiduously wooing sizeable Yadav population in Bihar for votes, Paswan sought to do spadework for his ally saying that the RJD supremo will find it tough to keep the flocks of his castmen together behind him as they know that their leader will not be eligible to become the Chief Minister again.
“Lalu is not in the race for the Chief Minister's post again (after conviction in the fodder scam) nor he will let Nitish Kumar take away the crown.” he said. Compounding the woes of the RJD supremo and Nitish Kumar, Jitan Ram Manjhi has emerged as a potential challenger for the top post again after successfully wooing the mahadalit people since taking over the chief minister's post seven months ago from Kumar, Paswan noted and said that the incumbent chief minister has become an albatross for the Janata Parivar leaders.
The Union Food Minister also hit out at the RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and the senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar for vowing to stop the BJP's chariot in Bihar and deprecated the two for making a hollow battle cry despite knowing that what had hit the RJD and JD(U) in Jharkhand during recent assembly polls.
The RJD and JD(U) did not get to open its account in Jharkhand assembly polls and yet their leaders were sounding battle cry against the BJP-led alliance in Bihar, Paswan said and claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ‘wheels' will roll in Bihar too and run over the adversaries at the hustings later this year.
“There is a Modi wave sweeping through the country and winds are getting stronger day by day,” the LJP supremo claimed, adding that people have been swayed by the Prime Minister's development agenda and not on religion or caste issue.