Bihar polls: To go with Nitish or not is BJP's call, says Chirag Paswan

In an interview to PTI, Paswan did not make any direct demand about a change of leadership but asserted that he will be with the BJP in whatever decision the saffron party takes.

Published: 05th June 2020 08:51 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th June 2020 08:51 PM   |  A+A-

LJP leader Chirag Paswan

LJP leader Chirag Paswan (File Photo| ANI)


NEW DELHI: Hinting at his party's unease with Nitish Kumar, LJP president Chirag Paswan said on Friday he will back the BJP if it opts for a change of face in the Bihar assembly polls as he underscored his dissatisfaction with the chief minister's handling of the migrant crisis, noting it "could have been better".

The BJP had declared Kumar, the JD(U) president, as the chief ministerial face of the ruling NDA in Bihar more than a year ago, but a section of leaders within the alliance have been expressing their reservation against his leadership.

In an interview to PTI, Paswan did not make any direct demand about a change of leadership but asserted that he will be with the BJP in whatever decision the saffron party takes.

"Who will be the face, who will be the leader of the alliance is something that its largest constituent BJP has to decide. The LJP is strongly with the BJP in whatever decision it takes. If they (BJP) want to go ahead with Nitish Kumar ji, we are with them, if they want to have a change of mind... whatever decision the BJP takes, we will support," Paswan said.

His remarks are significant as it was presumed that the issue of the NDA's face in the Bihar polls, which are slated for October-November, had been settled after the then BJP president Amit Shah had declared in 2019 that Kumar will lead the alliance in the next assembly elections.

Shah's announcement had come as he was working to iron out differences among the NDA partners for the Lok Sabha elections in the state.

Asked about the Bihar government's handling of the migrant crisis triggered by the nationwide lockdown to curb COVID-19, Paswan, the Lok Sabha MP from Jamui, said it could have been better.

"If Bihar government had begun transporting migrants earlier, then we could have the example of the likes of Jyoti Kumar.

Deaths of many labourers on their way to home could have been probably avoided," he said and also praised the Yogi Adityanath government of Uttar Pradesh in this regard.

Teenaged girl Jyoti Kumari shot into limelight after cycling over 1100 km from Gurgaon to Darbangha while carrying her father on pillion.

The LJP president acknowledged that there is anger among lakhs of migrants, who have returned to Bihar from different parts of the country.

Paswan, however, asserted that the NDA will come back to power in Bihar with a huge mandate, and said the RJD-led opposition is not in a position to challenge it.

It will win more than 225 of 242 seats in the assembly, he claimed, noting that it had also won 39 of the state's 40 Lok Sabha seats in 2019.

The BJP, the JD(U) and the LJP are part of the NDA in the state and will be challenged by the alliance of the RJD and the Congress besides some smaller parties in the assembly polls.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp