Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan`s son Chirag on Friday defended his party`s decision to return to the NDA led by the BJP, a day after the two parties forged an alliance ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls.
Defending the decision Chirag said, “The decision on alliance has been taken keeping the interest of the country first and the party second.”
Chirag, also an actor, further stated that his party`s alliance with the BJP is “issue based.”
The young LJP leader also took a dig at the RJD led by Lalu Prasad, saying, “People keep talking about communalism but didn`t Lalu Yadav run a government with support from BJP?
When asked why his party returned to the NDA fold after ditching it 12 years ago over Narendra Modi`s alleged involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots, Chirag said, “My father quit after what happened in 2002. He didn`t come back till a clean chit was given to Narendra Modi.”
He went on to say, “Now that Supreme Court has given a clean chit to Modi, I don`t think 2002 is an issue.”
“Moreover, BJP chief Rajnath Singh too has apologized to the minorities in case they committed some mistake. What more should be done,” Chirag Paswan said.
Further justifying the LJP-BJP alliance decision, Chirag Paswan said after the entry of Ramdas Athavale’s RPI in the NDA and Dalit leader Udit Raj joining the BJP, LJP`s joined hands with the BJP reasserts the fact that only the NDA can take the country out of the troubled times it is in.
On the issue of supporting Nitish Kumar, who has called for a bandh on March 2 to press the Centre for granting special status to his state, Chirag said that the BJP is holding a rally on March 3 and the LJP national president will be there to support the cause.
In a major fillip to the BJP’s ambition to win majority of Bihar’s 40 Lok Sabha seats, party president Rajnath Singh on Thursday announced the return of Lok Janshakti Pary (LJP) into the NDA fold.
Addressing a joint press conference with LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, Rajnath Singh said, “The process of expansion of NDA has begun; Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan has decided that his party will be part of the NDA. We have finalized seat sharing, I am confident that the alliance will help the NDA in Bihar.”
Highlighting the growing acceptability of Narendra Modi, Singh said, “The fact that important Dalit leaders are gravitating towards the NDA implies that everybody wants Narendra Modi as the prime minister of the country.”
The BJP president announced that LJP will contest from seven seats in Bihar.
A beaming Paswan also spoke on the occasion. He said, “Thanks to the efforts being put by Rajnath Singh and his team, the NDA is growing and I have no doubt that it will come to power.”
On his equation with the BJP, he said, “We were part of the family earlier so it is nothing new for me.”
Ram Vilas Paswan was earlier in the NDA during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He left the NDA in the wake of the Gujarat riots in 2002.
The LJP was also part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance from 2004 to 2009.