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Issues like Ram temple, Hanuman left voters in doubt, says BJP ally

Speculation is rife that following the BJP's recent defeat in polls, the remaining two NDA constituents in Bihar may flex their muscles

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

Ramvilas Paswan, Chirag Paswan
Union Minister and LJP Chief Ramvilas Paswan with party MP Chirag Paswan. Photo: PTI

LJP leader Chirag Paswan Thursday said while poll results in five states were not a sign of the Modi wave waning, the people wanted development from the NDA and they were disappointed when discourses about the Ram Temple took the centrestage.

He told reporters that chief ministers of BJP-ruled states Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Raman Singh, had been in power for a long time but they gave a tough fight despite the anti-incumbency factor.

The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is an ally of the NDA and its president Ram Vilas Paswan is a Union minister.

"I would not say the results are a sign of the Modi wave being on the wane or the BJP being on the downside... But, certainly there is a need for introspection," said Paswan, the chairman of the LJP parliamentary board.

To queries about what lessons, in his view, could be drawn from the BJP's defeat in Hindi heartland states, he said, "I would not speak in terms of lessons as such. But certainly, development has been the motto of the BJP as also the larger NDA coalition. When issues like Ram Temple and Hanuman start dominating the discourse, it leads to doubts and disappointment among the voters."

During campaigning for the polls in these states, senior BJP leaders such as the party's national president Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath were accused of playing the Hindutva card.

To a question about the possibility of the Narendra Modi government bringing in an ordinance to facilitate the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya, Chirag Paswan said, "If such an ordinance is brought, the LJP will think over it and come out with its stand. As of now, the party is in favour of waiting till the court comes out with its verdict on the issue."

He said the LJP has never raised any unreasonable demand from the BJP.

"We have been a responsible alliance partner and are fully committed to ensuring the prime minister's return to power. We want the NDA to perform better than it did in 2014," the LJP leader said.

With the exit of Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), the NDA in Bihar is now left with the LJP and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U).

Speculation is rife that following the BJP's recent defeat in polls, the remaining two NDA constituents in Bihar may flex their muscles.

First Published: Thu, December 13 2018. 23:45 IST