Never had meeting of hearts: Paswan on ties with Lalu Prasad
Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who snapped his five-year-old ties with RJD chief Lalu Prasad during Lok Sabha polls last year and aligned with BJP, says the two never had a meeting of hearts even when they were together.
New Delhi: Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who snapped his five-year-old ties with RJD chief Lalu Prasad during Lok Sabha polls last year and aligned with BJP, says the two never had a meeting of hearts even when they were together.
"I never had a heart to heart relationship with Lalu. Even he did not have it with me. I never wanted to go with Lalu in an alliance. Except once in 2010 Assembly polls, I never fought elections in Bihar in alliance with Lalu. In 2009 I was in UPA due to Congress President Sonia Gandhi's initiative," Paswan told PTI in a interview.
He was replying to queries on how he could attack Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for allying with Lalu when he himself had fought elections in alliance with the RJD chief in the past.
The LJP chief was the first to quit NDA after the Gujarat riots in 2002 and his Lok Janshakti Party had been in an alliance with the RJD since 2009.
Prasad and Paswan were also ministers in UPA-I government. In the first few years of the UPA-I, both had bitter relations, which was said to have emanated because of claims over Railway portfolio.
The two had come together only when 2009 Lok Sabha polls had neared, when they had dumped Congress resulting in disastrous results for all the three parties.
Unhappy with the delay in firming up seat-sharing arrangements with Congress and RJD in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Paswan broke ties with Prasad's RJD and sealed an alliance with BJP which led to a turn around in his party's fortunes.
Paswan has been very critical of Lalu in recent months and even predicted doom for Nitish Kumar in the upcoming assembly polls because of his alliance with the RJD chief.
"Lalu is one person who keeps one hand on the neck of his alliance partner and another on the feet," said Paswan.
On the 2009 poll debacle, he claimed that Prasad benefited from his votebase but RJD chief's supporters did not vote for LJP.
Paswan, whose party has dropped hints of his chief ministerial ambitions, ruled himself out of the race for the top post.
The LJP president feels that "not declaring a CM candidate is helping the alliance" in Bihar.
He said it is BJP's right to claim Chief Ministership if NDA comes to power as it is the largest party.