It seems to be a ping-pong game between the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
Within hours of a senior party leader announcing that a deal with the BJP has been finalised, the LJP has issued several denials. LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag said, “There are no talks with the BJP at present. It will take shape only after the LJP’s parliamentary board meets in a day or two.”
Chirag Paswan’s alleged meeting with BJP chief Rajnath Singh last week had fuelled speculation that an alliance was on the cards.
Sources say that Chirag wants to contest from Jamui and Paswan wants to contest from Hajipur in Bihar. Sources say that the BJP is unwilling to concede to the requests.
“The person who chose to walk out of the NDA after the Gujarat pogrom will find it hard to make a U-turn now,” a senior Congress leader said, referring to Paswan who quit the NDA after the 2002 riots.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad too dismissed rumours of a LJP-BJP alliance. “I don’t believe what any other leader has to say (refers to LJP’s Surajbhan Singh who spoke of a possible alliance with the BJP),” he said.