NDA ally Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Chirag Paswan’s backing to RJD’s call for deferring Bihar elections slated later this year has not gone down well with Bihar BJP leader Sanjay Paswan, who on Saturday suggested that LJP leader and union minister Ram Vilas Paswan could be using the deferment call to remain in power, reported ANI.
Sanjay Paswan, who is not known to mince words, added that the task of scheduling elections should be left to the election commission.
“People who are making such remarks, whether they’re our ally or in opposition, don’t believe in democracy. Election Commission is competent enough to take a decision,” he was quoted as saying in reference to Chirag Paswan’s advocacy of deferment of polls due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, LJP president Chirag Paswan had said he was not in favour of impending elections in Bihar as it could pose a serious risk to a large population and also put additional burden on the exchequer. He said that the election commission should take a decision while keeping these facts in mind. He, however, added that his party was readying for the polls. His comments followed a meeting of the party’s parliamentary board held in Delhi on Thursday.
“However, due to the pandemic, the common man as well as the Central and state governments are financially strained. Under these circumstances, elections will put additional burden. All the parliamentary board members also expressed concerns over it,” he had tweeted.
LJP’s deferment suggestion had come close on the heels of a similar demand made by the leading opposition party, RJD. Leader of opposition in the state assembly Tejashwi Yadav had last week accused the Nitish Kumar led NDA government of caring little about the plight of people during the pandemic and focusing more on preparations for assembly elections. He had demanded that the elections be postponed.
BJP had yesterday reacted to Chirag Paswan and said that the election commission was capable of holding free and fair elections while ensuring all necessary precautions are observed on ground to prevent further spread of the contagion. Sanjay Paswan, however, went ahead and attacked LJP leader and a Dalit icon Ram Vilas Paswan.
“It seems it is part of the strategy and tactics of Ram Vilas ji to remain in power. Our senior leaders have said all is well in NDA so we also believe that all is well. BJP and JDU have been in government even without LJP,” Sanjay Paswan was quoted as saying by ANI.
The JDU led NDA government in the state has recently been criticized by Chirag Paswan over its handling of the pandemic and the migrants’ issue in recent months.
Party spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad had yesterday said that the Election Commission has taken a decision (to possibly hold the polls on time) after consultations with all political parties. He added that timely elections would be in interests of “good governance” and will help Bihar get its “due respect” on the national stage.