Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan on Thursday sought to rock the boat for the Janata Dal-United-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance in Bihar, claiming that Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will stand "with hands folded and head bowed" before the Rashtriya Janata Dal leadership for another shot at power despite his party's poor show in the assembly elections.
Addressing a press conference barely a few hours before the campaign for the final phase of the elections came to a close, Paswan reiterated that the LJP will do well despite having gone solo in the elections and asserted, "We will help the BJP form the next government."
"You all must have seen photographs of Kumar standing in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at rallies, with hands folded and head bowed. So much bitterness he had for Modi just a few years back, He has sought to swallow it all because of lust for power," Paswan said.
The LJP chief, who has of late been claiming that the JD-U boss was poised for another volte-face, said, "This lust for power is not going to leave him. He will not easily give up the chief minister's chair though his party is bound to be drubbed."
"So, what we may witness, after the results are out, is Nitish Kumar standing before Tejashwi Yadav just like he is doing now before Modi. If needs be, he will go to Ranchi and seek blessings of the party supremo Lalu Prasad with bowed head and folded hands," Paswan said.
The LJP chief, who was suspected of enjoying the tacit support from the BJP until the party disowned him in the wake of his brinkmanship, insisted, "Let the results be out. A new government headed by the BJP with LJP as its junior partner will be there for all to see."
Asked who according to him could be the next chief minister, Paswan quipped, "Two-three names are doing the rounds. It would not be proper for me to make this public at this juncture."
The state BJP declined to comment on Paswan's latest averments but a party leader on condition of anonymity said, "All top leaders, including the prime minister, have gone on record saying Nitish Kumar will be the next chief minister. So, that is the party's official stand."
The JD-U, which has been at the receiving end of Paswan's pungent attacks, reacted testily.
"The NDA's storm has extinguished the lantern (RJD's poll symbol), what is the standing of a chirag (small earthen lamp)?" JD-U leader and state IPRD minister Neeraj Kumar tweeted.
"Chirag Paswan seems to have been left with no choice except chanting Tejashwi Yadav Zindabad. Let us see, after the polls, whether he goes back to Delhi or returns to the make-believe world of movies where he made a failed attempt before dabbling in politics," Kumar had said referring to the Jamui MP.