Chirag doesn’t mind criticism, but ‘BJP should use words carefully’

Meanwhile, he claimed that BJP was only following the "coalition dharma" as an ally of Nitish Kumar

Chirag Paswan
Chirag Paswan claimed Kumar has been trying to create distance between BJP and him | Photo: Twitter/ANI

Chirag Paswan, who heads the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in poll-bound Bihar, has advised the BJP, a former ally of his party, to “use the words wisely”, while stating that he is open to criticism by the saffron leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reported NDTV.

Paswan, son of former Union former Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan who died earlier this month, had recently called himself the “Hanuman of Modi”. His party had, however, quit the NDA alliance over differences with the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U), going alone for Bihar polls.

Referring to Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar where elections are starting October 28, Chirag said, “He has wasted most of the time to show how LJP and BJP are divided. The Chief Minister is fielding all big BJP leaders to speak against me. I just want to say that they are free to speak against me. I would even say that if the prime minister wants to say something against me just to satisfy the chief minister, he can,” according to the report.

Meanwhile, he also claimed that the saffron party was only following the “coalition dharma” as an ally of Nitish Kumar.

“I do not need to exhibit my relations with the prime minister. From the time when my father was in the hospital to his last rites, I can never forget what he (PM) has done for me,” Paswan said in a series of tweets in Hindi.

Related news: The Paswan factor will play a big role in Bihar elections

With BJP working overtime to dispel the impression of having any tacit understanding with LJP, he claimed Kumar has been trying to create distance between BJP and him. He said the thrust of Kumar’s campaign has been on showing a distance between Modi and him.

Paswan said Nitish Kumar should be thankful to his ally (BJP) for following the coalition dharma by giving him a “certificate” every day that it has no links with the LJP president despite “so much anger” against Kumar. “I do not want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be in any dilemma due to me. He should follow his coalition dharma. He can say anything against me without any inhibition to satisfy Chief Minister Nitish Kumar,” he said.

The LJP’s decision to fight the Bihar polls independently after walking out of the NDA, which includes the BJP and the JD(U), has muddied the waters ahead of the upcoming assembly polls. Paswan has been making determined efforts to target JD(U) by putting up candidates against it, while his party is not contesting on seats where the BJP is in the fray.

Related news: Will the movie-like suspense dogging Bihar polls blur the verdict too?  

The BJP has in the last few days accused Paswan of trying to spread confusion by harping on his claimed proximity to its senior leaders and reiterated that Kumar will become the state’s chief minister again if their alliance gets the mandate. On the other hand, Paswan has been claiming that an alliance of the BJP and the LJP will come to power after the polls.

The Bihar Assembly elections are scheduled to be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7. The counting of votes will take place on November 10.

(With inputs from agencies)

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