Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Chirag Paswan on Friday ambitiously defended his support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even though his party has split ways with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the 2020 Bihar Legislative Assembly elections.
In a report by the NDTV, the LJP chief could be heard saying, "I was, am and will always be with the BJP and especially with Prime Minister Narendra Modi."
Paswan, on a dramatic note, even proclaimed at one point that he was like Hanuman to Narendra Modi, and always had the Prime Minister in his heart.
"The prime minister is in my heart, I am his Hanuman - he stays in my heart. You can rip my chest and see," Paswan said, adding that he did not need to put up a photo with Prime Minister Narendra Modi anywhere for people to see.
Taking the opportunity to slam Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on a similar vein, Paswan said, "The Chief Minister feels the need to put up a photo of Narendra Modi because he has always opposed the Prime Minister, be it on Triple Talaq, Article 370, or the CAA/NRC."
Paswan clarified that he was, is, and will always be with the BJP in the future as well.
Chirag's showering praises on PM Narendra Modi in poll-bound Bihar has become a cause of concern for the Bharatiya Janata Party as Janata Dal (United), its ally in Bihar and in the centre as well, is becoming uncomfortable with Paswan cashing in on BJP leaders name.
No action against Chirag by BJP was seen as the party's approval of his action in political circles. Chirag has been reiterating that BJP and LJP will form govt in Bihar.
"My goal is to see a BJP-LJP coalition government established in Bihar after the state assembly polls," he concluded.
In the pithy game of shifting alliances that electoral politics is, it is often difficult to keep track of who sides with who and comprises on differing ideologies.
LJP's continuation in the NDA at the central level has caused inconvenience to Bharatiya Janata Party's ally Janata Dal (United) that has emerged as the main opponent for LJP in this election which has forced BJP to reiterate its commitment to National Democratic Alliance, explained a senior leader.
The BJP has, however, finally come out in the open to lash out at the LJP, its ally at the Centre, with the Bihar election heating up in which the BJP ally JD (U) is pitted against the LJP in a direct contest.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar alleged that Chirag Paswan is in fact "trying to mislead people" and called the LJP a "vote-cutter".
"Chirag Paswan has chosen a separate path in Bihar. Now he is trying to mislead people by taking names of senior BJP leaders," Javadekar alleged while addressing the media on Friday.
Javadekar added that the BJP does not have "any B or C or D team". He went on to say that Chirag Paswan's LJP, which decided to go solo in the state, will be reduced to a "vote-cutter party".
The LJP has been locked in an acrimonious war of words with Nitish Kumar's JD(U) with its ally reportedly upset about the BJP not attacking the LJP.
The Union minister exhibited confidence that the NDA will get a three-fourth majority in the upcoming election.
The BJP is contesting on 121 of the total 243 seats in Bihar and ally Janata Dal (United) on 122 seats.
The JD (U) and the BJP were expected to accommodate the Hindustani Awam Morcha and the Vikassheel Insaan Party respectively, from its quota of seats.
On October 7, the BJP had allocated 11 seats to the Vikassheel Insaan Party from its quota.
The 243-member Bihar Assembly will go to the polls in three phases -- on October 28, November 3 and 7 -- and the results will be announced on November 10.
(With agency inputs)