By Meghana Rathore:
A major breakthrough in the fluid political scenario was witnessed last week. What might have seemed dysfunctional to many of us at large; happened. The Lok Janshakti Party that quite stridently regarded NDA as an anathema after the 2002 mishaps and had quit the coalition, went ahead and returned to its folds expressing it’s discontentment towards the congress-RJD alliance who were “taking them for granted”. On being interviewed on this sudden and surprising turn around, Mr. Paswan, the party’s supremo, in his defense cited that since Modi has received a clean chit, he sees no harm and does not need to answer any unnecessary questions. He also went on to clarify that no compromise has been worked out on LJP’s secular grounds.
The seat-sharing arrangement began with an air of uncertainty and speculation at first but the deal was finalized on the 27th of February, which strode as a not-so-welcomed news and was subject to heavy criticism not only from other parties of the region but was subject to cynicism internally too by the Muslims in the party. Muslims in LJP expressed their disdain, which was followed by the resignation of Zakir Hussain, the party’s lone MLA from Araria. Nitish Kumar termed the alliance as “unprincipled”. Also, another major leader from the party, Abdul Khaliq broke down when the final call was made.
Under the seat sharing arrangement LJP will put up seven candidates from Hajipur, Samastipur, Jamui, Munger, Vaishali, Nalanda and Khagaria. This alliance has been touted to work hugely in favour of BJP as its pro-dalit agenda might get a push since the LJP’s image as a pro-Dalit party is so pronounced. It might help in the image-makeover process of BJP too. However, the only reason this might not be the best decision would be because LJP’s secularity credentials might come under the scanner now since Modi’s taint has still not been forgotten.