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Hope for sweeping changes

Patna, March 5: Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan today said the NDA would bring sweeping changes to Bihar politics.

After the alliance with the BJP, Paswan on Wednesday attacked the UPA, particularly the Congress and RJD. He said: “The LJP’s strength had dipped after the party joined the UPA. In the 2010 elections, the RJD and LJP fought together but the LJP won only three seats.”

Fielding questions from the media, the senior Paswan explained why the LJP allied with the BJP. He said: “We were asking the Congress and the RJD to finalise seat-sharing arrangements for six months. But neither was ready to give us respectable seats,” Paswan said.

Moreover, while a section of leaders favoured an alliance with the BJP or the JD(U), core voters (read Paswans) were against an alliance with the JD(U) as Nitish Kumar had left the Paswans out of the Mahadalit umbrella.

Sources said that despite knowing that Muslim leaders in the party did not favour an alliance with the BJP, the party went ahead with the idea advocated by Paswan’s son Chirag, Suraj Bhan, Maheshwar Singh and Rama Singh.

A senior Muslim LJP leader said on condition of anonymity: “We are sad at the LJP tying up with the BJP and expected the Congress to arrange a meeting between the three parties but it did not happen.”

Paswan said: “The issue of Gujarat riots cannot go on for decades. An era has changed and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has been talking about development for all.” He said the BJP was not an untouchable any more as many Dalit parties such as Ramdas Athawale’s Republican Party of India and Dalit thinker Udit Raj were already with it.

A BJP-LJP milan samaroh is being organised at SK Memorial Hall on March 12. BJP president Rajnath Singh, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, Sushil Kumar Modi and others would attend it.