Justifying the decision to join hands with BJP, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) President Ramvilas Paswan said on Wednesday that secularism and communalism were just "poll ploys".
Claiming that a wave was blowing across the country in favour of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Paswan said, "Secularism aur communalism sirf chunavi hathkanda hain (secularism and communalism are poll ploys)."
"More than a decade has passed since the 2002 riots in Gujarat... It's development and not (the riot) which is a subject of debate in the country today," he said.
Paswan senior, flanked by son and LJP parliamentary board chief Chirag and the party's state president and brother Pashupati Paras, was speaking after the induction of former Bihar Congress chief Chaudhary Mehboob Kaisar into his party.
Kaisar was nominated as the LJP candidate from Khagaria.
Meanwhile, in an apparent dig at his rivals Lalu Prasad Yadav and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Paswan said that in the wake of the Emergency these leaders, "who are products of the JP movement" used to say that they "will prefer to take poison than go to Congress".
"See what the situation is today," he said in reference to recent moves by Yadav and Kumar.