Lok Janshakti Party has decided to contest the elections on its own and not within an alliance with the ruling NDA, according to party sources.
Amid speculations that LJP would part ways with the NDA, a Central Parliamentary Board meeting was held under the leadership of party chief Chirag Paswan today, where the call was taken.
Several party leaders are attending the meeting where Chirag Paswan is also present. Veena Devi, Chandan Singh, Surajbhan Singh, Raju Tiwari, Prince Raj, Kali Pandey, and Abdul Khalid, among other party leaders are present.
The meeting, which was to be held on Saturday, was postponed after Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Chirag Paswan’s father, was hospitalised. He underwent a heart surgery last night at a hospital in Delhi, Chirag Paswan said in a tweet this morning.
Prime Minster Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Minister Amit Shah called up Chirag Paswan to enquire about his father’s health and told him that once his father recovers, “he will be proud of how well his son looked after him”.
Meanwhile, Chirag had on on Saturday sought people’s “blessings” for his party’s ‘Bihar first Bihari first’ vision document and heaped praise on PM Narendra Modi, has made it amply clear that his main grouse is against Bihar CM Nitish Kumar-led JD(U).
The seat-sharing talks in the NDA have been stuck because Chirag has proved to be a tough bargainer and has been adamant on contesting 130 seats and fighting against JD-U contestants.
The LJP, which survives on Dalit politics, had won only two of the 42 seats in contested in 2015. Yet, the party has been surprisingly assertive under Chirag’s leadership.
LJP spokesman Vikas Mishra said the party chief had asked all leaders and workers to prepare to contest on 143 seats.
“Chirag Paswan has been authorized to take a final decision on seat-sharing. We are with whatever he decides. The parliamentary board meeting can be held even at a short notice,” he said. Over the last few days, Paswan has met BJP president JP Nadda and home minister Amit Shah, but the deadlock has persisted.