Nitish’s Return: Chirag-Maanjhi Stipulations; LJP Rejects Seat Compromises, HAM Demands 2 Ministerial Positions

After orchestrating Nitish Kumar’s return to the NDA fold, the BJP is now engaged in convincing its allied parties in Bihar. On January 27, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP National President JP Nadda met with Chirag Paswan, the National President and MP of Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas). During the encounter, Chirag voiced his opinions regarding Nitish Kumar.

According to sources within the LJP (Ram Vilas), the party desires a Common Minimum Program (CMP) for the NDA in Bihar as the basis for governance. Chirag Paswan is not in favor of running the government solely based on Nitish Kumar’s “Seven Resolves.”

Chirag has consistently accused the Seven Resolves plan of being riddled with corruption allegations, viewing it as an agenda of the JDU and the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance). He insists that his “Bihar First – Bihari First” agenda should also be included in the NDA government’s plans.

However, Chirag clarified that he doesn’t have any personal disputes with Nitish Kumar, but he won’t compromise on principles. If Nitish Kumar refuses to compromise, it won’t be challenging for them to unite on a platform. Furthermore, Chirag also desires that even after the inclusion of JDU, the number of seats allocated to them should not decrease.

Lok Sabha Election 2019

LJP Will Not Ally with RJD

According to party sources, the BJP may bring whoever they wish, but the LJP (Ram Vilas) will not compromise on seats. If an agreement on seats is not reached, the party will contest elections again, much like it did against the BJP and JDU in the 2020 Assembly elections. The party will contest on 23 seats, comprising 17 from the JDU quota and 6 from its own.

However, party insiders have denied any possibility of joining forces with the RJD, affirming that they will not abandon PM Modi’s alliance at any cost.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, both JDU and LJP were part of the NDA. At that time, BJP and JDU contested 17 seats each out of a total of 40, while LJP contested on 6 seats. Together, they won 39 seats, with one seat going to the Congress.

LJP’s Two Cents: Chirag Won’t Compromise, BJP Should

Chirag believes that he has already endured significant betrayals and will not tolerate any more. As a major political entity, the BJP has the capacity to adjust seat allocations, but compromising on LJP (Ram Vilas)’s seats leaves us no space. Therefore, if Nitish Kumar is returning, it should be BJP compromising, not Chirag Paswan.

Maanjhi with BJP, Demands Two Ministerial Positions

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Central Minister Nityanand Rai and BJP State President Samrat Chaudhary reached out to Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) leader Jitan Ram Maanjhi to persuade him. Maanjhi clarified that he will remain with PM Modi, but his party demanded two ministerial positions in the new government immediately after the legislative party meeting on Saturday.

Vidhan Sabha Election

Maanjhi’s Party Can Demand 6 Seats

Posters have been put up outside Jitan Ram Maanjhi’s residence stating, “Bihar’s prosperity lies in Maanjhi, without Maanjhi, everything is futile.” The party’s chief national spokesperson, Shyam Sundar Sharan, has demanded a minimum of 2 ministerial positions for the party in the new government.

He stated, “Our party speaks for the poor. Therefore, we should be given at least 2 ministerial positions. This is not just our condition but the demand of our workers and supporters. Nevertheless, we stand firmly with the Prime Minister without any position.” According to sources, Jitan Ram Maanjhi can claim stakes on 6 seats in the Lok Sabha.

Upendra Kushwaha Demands 3 Seats in Lok Sabha Elections

Meanwhile, the National President of the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and former Union Minister, Upendra Kushwaha, has questioned the credibility of Nitish Kumar. Upendra Kushwaha stated that it is the responsibility of the BJP to dispel the doubts in the minds of allied parties regarding Nitish Kumar.

According to RLSP sources, Upendra Kushwaha wishes to contest at least 3 seats in the Lok Sabha elections and secure ministerial positions for himself in the new government. While this demand might pose a challenge, it is believed that convincing Kushwaha may not be excessively difficult for the BJP.

However, there will also be challenges from the Rashtriya Lok Janata Party (RLJP) President, Pashupati Kumar Paras, who currently holds 5 seats in his quota. The distribution of seats among all allied parties based on their terms will remain the biggest challenge for the NDA in the new government.

Niyati Rao

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