New Delhi: Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Chirag Paswan should be the chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections and the party should fight on 143 seats, said LJP national general secretary, Shahnawaz Ahmad Kaifi amid reports of confusion in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over seat-sharing in the state.
Kaifi, however, said that he has made Chirag Paswan aware of the demands being raised by the party workers and members. “Chirag Paswan is definitely the Chief Minister candidate of our party, there is no doubt about it. The leaders, workers in our party are of the same opinion,” Kaifi told ANI in Patna.
He added, “The party members also believe that we should fight on at least 143 seats in the elections. I too would urge the party to fight on these many seats.”
The LJP leader further said that Chirag Paswan`s decision in this matter would be a final one and it would come shortly.
Earlier, BJP had clarified that the NDA would go in the elections under the leadership of incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Ahead of the assembly elections, the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in Bihar is facing strong headwinds with new allies. The old allies seeking a greater share of the electoral pie, are virtually blocking the seat-sharing talks among its constituents.
The RJD, which had emerged as the single largest party in the last elections with 81 seats, is finding it tough to convince its recalcitrant partners of its pre-eminence in the coalition and allow it to contest 150 odd seats of the 243-member assembly.
The Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has already deserted the coalition and returned to the ruling NDA.
Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) of former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha looks set to follow suit today decided to join hands with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
The RLSP already said that “all is not well” in the ‘Mahagathbandhan’, which was formed by Lalu Prasad and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar to deafeat the BJP in the 2015 assembly polls.
Notably, Bihar has 243 Assembly seats and elections in the state are due in October-November as the tenure of the current Assembly will end by last November this year.