PATNA: If NDA sources are to be believed, the LJP will lose the only Rajya Sabha seat which has fallen vacant post Ram Vilas Paswan’s death.
NDA’s ally JD-U is learnt to have refused to support the LJP candidate, upset as the party has been with LJP’s outbursts against the NDA ally in the recent assembly polls.
Sources said efforts to persuade the JD-U have failed, and that the seat may go to the BJP.
Ram Vilas Paswan was elected to the Upper House by the NDA under the ‘seat-sharing formula’ finalized during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls by the three parties. The BJP and the JD-U had contested 17 seats each while the LJP was given six seats.
Acrimony between the LJP and JD-U resulted in LJP walking out of the NDA in Bihar and contesting against it.
NDA sources said the LJP’s exit from the central NDA seems unavoidable if it remains adamant on the RS seat.
“The BJP will have no option but to field its candidate in case the JD-U persists with its opposition to the LJP. The LJP will either have to swallow the humiliation or walk out of the NDA at the Centre. In either case, the LJP will be a loser,” said a senior NDA leader.
Nomination for the RS seat began on Thursday and prominent NDA names being talked about are Sushil Kumar Modi and Shahnawaz Hussain. Senior party leaders have hinted at Sushil Modi being given a more important assignment.
If the BJP leadership decides to bring Chirag Paswan around, then he could also be offered the same ministry which Ram Vilas Paswan held in exchange for the RS seat.
“This way Chirag will remain in the NDA and JD-U will not feel offended and agree to back the BJP candidate in the RS polls,” said a source.
Sources said former MP Shahnawaz Hussain can be sent to Rajya Sabha through a by-election.
The LJP has reportedly claimed this seat for Reena Paswan, wife of Ram Vilas Paswan. The last date for filing nomination is December 3 and voting is due on December 14.
Counting will take place the same day.
The NDA victory in the by-election is believed to be a foregone conclusion on the basis of its numerical strength. On the other hand, LJP appears optimistic that NDA leaders would still find a way out for it.
According to the equation of seats, if a candidate is fielded by the Opposition, then the victory in the 243-member assembly can be achieved by one who gets at least 122 votes of first preference. So, the situation demands alliance partners, sources said.
Case against lalu
Lallan Paswan, the BJP MLA from Pirpaiti in Bhagalpur, lodged an FIR against fodder scam convict Lalu Prasad on Thursday at the Patna vigilance police station.
Lallan has alleged in the FIR that the RJD chief tried to lure him by offering a ministerial berth if the Grand Alliance formed the government.