New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANS) In could lead to a major crack in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar ahead of the crucial state Assembly polls scheduled later this year, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leaders have demanded to field candidates on the seats contested by the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U).
The LJP also asked the BJP to contest on more seats than the ruling JD-U in the state.
According to a highly-placed LJP source, the demands were raised during the meeting of all the MPs and former MPs of the party at the residence of LJP supremo Chirag Paswan here.
A party source present in the meeting told IANS that all the MPs and former MPs of the LJP demanded that the BJP should contest more seats than the JD-U in Bihar.
"Former MP Kali Pandey demanded that the LJP should announce candidates on seats which are being contested by the JD-U in the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections," the source said.
The LJP and the JD-U have been trading barbs at each other over last few months. Chirag Paswan has openly criticised Nitish Kumar over the handling of the migrant workers' crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic and the floods in the state, besides writing to the Bihar Chief Minister on several occasions. However, Nitish Kumar has not responded to any of his letters.
During the September 7 meeting of the LJP parliamentary board, the party decided to draw up the candidates' list for 143 out of 243 seats in the state. Its leaders reportedly demanded that the party must not contest the elections under Nitish Kumar's leadership.
The party source said that during the meeting, the party leaders also hailed the projects launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bihar in the last one week.
The LJP leaders also slammed the Bihar government over the rise of 'officialism' in the state, the party source said.
During the meeting, Chirag Paswan and all the other party members opposed the works being done by Nitish Kumar in Bihar and accused him of not fulfilling his poll promise of providing three decimal land to the poor in the state.
The party leaders also passed a resolution condemning the statement of JD-U MP Lalan Singh's on the Prime Minister.
They also welcomed the statement of JD-U General Secretary KC Tyagi that LJP did not have an alliance with his party.
The LJP source further said that Chirag Paswan had held a meeting with BJP President JP Nadda on Tuesday night, where both the leaders discussed the projects inaugurated by Narendra Modi in the poll-bound state.
The party source close to the LJP chief said that during the meeting, Chirag Paswan had asked Nadda to contest more seats than the JD-U. The source also claimed that the meeting of the two leaders ahead of the announcement of the poll dates was a positive sign.
The LJP, which fought the 2015 Assembly elections with the BJP as an ally partner, had contested 55 seats and managed to win just two.
The Election Commission had said earlier this month that the elections for the 243- member Bihar Assembly will be completed by November 29.
(Anand Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)