In the run up to the crucial Bihar assembly elections, Union minister and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan has ruled out his being in the race for NDA’s chief ministerial candidate, saying he would like to remain in the national politics.
“I would like thank (BJP MP) Shatrughan Sinhaji. He is our well-wisher from the beginning. We are like brothers. But, I have already said that I will remain in national politics and not go to the state,” he told PTI here last evening.
He was asked about the comments of actor-turned-BJP MP Sinha that Paswan would make a better chief ministerial candidate for NDA in Bihar.
Paswan said that NDA is unlikely to announce any chief ministerial candidate ahead of elections and that the Chief Minister, in the event of an NDA victory, would be elected only after the polls.
He said the issue of seat-sharing among the NDA allies for the Bihar polls should be over by this month-end.
“Seat-sharing is not an issue. We will sit. But, we have not sat so far (for talks on seat-sharing). We will sit and decide. I feel that it should be done quite early. It should be done within this month,” he said.
Maintaining that the special package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has silenced the ruling JD(U) and its allies, Paswan said NDA would win the elections comfortably.
“The programme (Ara rally) of Prime Minister Modiji made it clear that there is no fight. We will win with two-thirds majority. An NDA government will be formed. The NDA alliance is absolutely solid,” he said.
The development package announced by the Prime Minister had a very good impact and the announcement has silenced Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the JD(U)’s allies, Paswan said.
“It had very good impact. People of Bihar did not have such expectation. Even Nitish Kumar did not know. Nitish Kumar was seeking Rs 50,000 crore. But the Prime Minister hit a six. He announced Rs 1,25,000 crore at once. Now, they are silenced. They are not able to say anything, not able to give an answer,” he said.
The erstwhile UPA government did not make any concrete help in the form of a package for Bihar though Nitish Kumar had sought it, Paswan alleged.
“When Chidambaram was Finance Minister, Nitish Kumar used to do his ‘chamcha giri’. He even went to drop him (Chidambaram) in Congress office. He announced Rs 10,000 crore. That was also not given. Without asking (for it), the Prime Minister announces Rs 1,25,000 crore.
“Nitish Kumar did not go for that meeting at Ara (where the package was announced). Good that he did not go there. Otherwise, he would say that we asked for it and then only it was given. That’s why, there is limitless happiness among people of Bihar. We thank the Prime Minister on behalf of Lok Janshakti Party and NDA,” he said.