I will play role of `mahout` if LJP-RJD combine wins: Paswan

LJP supremo Ramvilas Paswan said he would have play the role of a `mahout` and not that of a `super CM` in case the RJD-LJP combine is voted to power in Bihar.

Patna: Voicing confidence about a
favourable poll verdict, LJP supremo Ramvilas Paswan on Thursday
said he would have play the role of a `mahout` and not that of
a `super CM` in case the RJD-LJP combines is voted to power in

Paswan also ruled out the possibility of jumping the
fence and aligning with the Congress in a post-poll situation
while making it clear that he was not averse to RJD chief Lalu
Prasad being projected as the Chief Ministerial candidate.

"This time, it is an interesting battle which will
burst the bubble of the NDA government led by Nitish Kumar,
who stands isolated with cracks in ruling alliance. Both the
BJP and JD (U) are grappling with infighting following glaring
differences over issues ranging from who will not not campaign
and revolt after distribution of tickets," Paswan said.

He was apparently referring to the recent resignation of
state BJP president Dr C P Thakur and rebel NDA MPs fielding
their kin on tickets from Congress and other parties.

Bracing up for the big fight, Paswan claimed it was he
who brought Prasad down from power in 2005.

The October 2005 elections saw the RJD emerge as the
largest opposition party following major reverses, largely due
to the split in the anti-Lalu votes which also went to the LJP
and independents.

"I have already realised the mistakes I committed that
led to installation of the NDA represented by communal and
fascist forces...It dealt a blow not only to the RJD but also
to the LJP" he said, adding people had also not benefited
after the power slipped into the hands of "an arrogant" person
like Nitish Kumar.

"Now I am taking all steps with full precaution to
ensure the victory of the alliance," he said.

On the credibility of his alliance partner and RJD
chief, Paswan said, "Lalu has taken a lesson from past and he
is a reformed person now."

Unfazed by the desertion of sitting MLAs and several
senior leaders, Paswan said he would emerge as the `king
maker` and refused to acknowledge erosion in his party`s Dalit
vote base, saying the `Mahadalit` card played by Nitish Kumar
has been exposed as the Dalits have realised the "big fraud"
played by the chief minister. Paswan alleged Congress has no base in Bihar and it is in the fray as a `vote katua` (vote clipper) only to damage the cause of the ruling JD (U) and BJP.

The RJD-LJP alliance was the only combination in Bihar
which has base votes intact, he said.

Rubbishing the speculation that he could jump the
fence and join forces with the Congress, the former Union
Minister and Rajya Sabha MP said he was Union Minister not at
someone`s mercy.

"Moreover, I am not going to take any decision at
the cost of the alliance," he said.

He stuck to his stand on making a Muslim deputy chief
minister and said projection of his brother Pashupati Kumar
Paras to the post was done keeping in mind his vast
legislative and administrative experience.

"Now we have decided that apart from Paras, there
will a deputy CM representing the minorities with powerful say
in the next government," he said.

Choosing to play the role of `mahout` instead of that
of a `super CM` in the event of a win, Paswan said, "I will be
the `mahout` to put a check on the new government."

"Nitish will meet the same fate as that of former
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who had
launched the Andhra shining campaign," Paswan claimed.

On whether he was satisfied with the steps taken by
the Election Commission for ensuring fair and free polls,
Paswan said the Commission should ensure that the EVMs are not
tampered with.