While BJP is the main opposition and is hoping to gain 272+ seats in the election, it is yet to be ascertained how much help LJP chief Paswan will be as his party holds zero seats in Bihar assembly.
It was all déjà vu once Lok Janshakti Party leader Ramvilas Paswan held hands of Bhartiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s hand on stage. Hundreds of men and women witnessed this event at Mujaffarpur of Bihar where Modi welcomed Paswan in the realm of National Democratic Alliance once again.
Paswan had left the realm of NDA in the wake of 2002 Gujarat riots and had joined hands with Congress-led United Progressive Alliance. With him returning to the fold, Modi hopes that the NDA expansion will go further.
“NDA is expanding,” the Gujarat chief minister said, “Many more parties will join the the NDA after the LJP joined it. NDA is not just the National Democratic Alliance but the National Development Alliance.”
Last time when Modi was in Bihar for his Hunkar rally in October 2013, serial blasts had taken place at the. After a security sweep, several bombs were found planted at the ground and some bombs were found near Modi’s chair and speaker’s dias. Modi had showed great courage and leadership when he did not leave the venue and urged the people to remain calm and composed.
This time, the venue was peaceful and Modi had words of praise for the people of the state. Pointing towards the blasts Modi said that the people of Bihar had shown unity and brotherhood in their aftermath. “I can understand people having a grouse against me and BJP but why are innocent people beng killed?” he said.
He launched scathing attack on the chief minister Nitish Kumar saying that the state was becoming a safe haven for terrorists. Given Kumar’s association with the newly formed Third Front, Modi reiterated that the parties who were a part of the third alliance were working in the interest of Congress.
He added that the coming decade would see an improvement in the living standards of the poor. “The coming decade will be a decade of development for the poor and the downtrodden.” Modi also underlined the value of maintaining peace in the country. “Without peace, harmony and unity, the country cannot develop.”
Paswan, who was addressing a rally for the first time after returning to NDA, shrugged off criticism from the Congress and UPA. “When I was with the alliance I was a good man but now that I have joined this alliance I have become a bad man,” Paswan said, “But I would like to tell you that there is no point in living without respect.”
“I want to thank the BJP for implementing the principles of an alliance and doing so in a manner that the UPA has never done,” Paswan said.
The LJP leader also pointed to the different conditions in India and said there were presently “two Indias” one of which was rich while the other was poor. According to him, having seen poverty, Narendra Modi could identify with them. “Narendra-bhai was born in a poor family and has seen poverty…Thanks to him though winds of change are blowing in the nation,” Paswan said. According the LJP chief, Modi rise showed that there was no limit imposed by caste.
While BJP is the main opposition and is hoping to gain 272+ seats in the election, it is yet to be ascertained how much help LJP chief Paswan will be as his party holds zero seats in Bihar assembly. But expansion of NDA is surely on right track.