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Paswan's LJP to tie up with BJP for 2014 election

February 23, 2014 20:49 IST

A senior leader from Ramvilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party on Sunday said that his party has decided to go with the Bharatiya Janata Party in the next Lok Sabha polls.

After a meeting of LJP leaders at Paswan's residence in New Delhi, former MP and party leader Surajbhan Singh told reporters, “The alliance between LJP and BJP has been finalised."

However, LJP secretary general Abdul Khalik told PTI that no final decision has been taken, and only parliamentary board of LJP can decide it.

When asked how can the LJP chief, who was the first to quit NDA in 2002 protesting against Gujarat riots, could align with BJP whose prime ministerial candidate is Narendra Modi, Surajbhan Singh said, "When the court has given a clean chit to Modi, who are we to say anything?"

He said that a formal announcement about the alliance will be made "very soon" in which it would be made clear which party will contest how many seats in Bihar.

He also said that Paswan will soon meet BJP chief Rajnath Singh over the issue.

However, other senior party leaders chose to remain ambivalent on the issue, saying no such decision has been taken as yet and the party is still to decide on the alliance issue.

"With regard to the alliance issue, no final decision has been taken only the parliamentary board of LJP can decide it. The board will meet in a couple of days," Khalik told PTI.

He, however, parried a question as to whether the LJP has had any talks for alliance with BJP.

"Our talks with Congress and RJD are going on," was his brief refrain to the question.

Another party leader, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that with the delay in finalising an alliance between Congress, RJD and LJP, there is pressure from the party workers to chalk out a different path and take a decision which suits the party.

Sources said that some BJP leaders from Bihar had recently met Paswan.

There are 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. Earlier, Paswan had given indication of aligning with JD-U by praising Nitish Kumar.

Paswan's party had been an alliance partner of NDA government but the LJP chief was the first to quit the BJP-led alliance in 2002 post-Godhra riots when Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

After LJP quitting NDA, six other parties had also quit the alliance in quick succession and NDA had virtually disintegrated paving the way for Congress-led UPA to come to power in 2004. 

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