Paswan Rubbishes Idea of Removing Nitish with a BJP Face in Bihar; BJP Counters

Ram Vilas Paswan at a press conference in Patna on Wednesday.

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Patna: Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ram Vilas Paswan, speaking at a press conference in Patna on Wednesday to mark the first 100 days of the Narendra Modi's second term at the Center, denied any rift between the NDA at both central and state level.

Virtually calling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Union Minister Sanjay Paswan 'a nobody' after Paswan floated the idea of a BJP Chief Minister in Bihar instead of Janata Dal – U's Nitish Kumar, Paswan said that there was no talk of any such change in Bihar where Nitish Kumar was already doing a wonderful job.

LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan in Patna on Wednesday.

"Please don't give any credence to this statement made by a small leader of the party. Has any big BJP leader said anything about removing Nitish Kumar and replace him with a BJP leader? No one has so there is no further need to discuss this matter. Nitish Kumar is running the government very effectively and he will continue to be the leader in Bihar for years to come," the Central Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said.

Contradicting Paswan, however, senior BJP leader and former Central Health Minister, on Wednesday, came out in favor of Sanjay Paswan saying today the BJP was the largest party in the country and it was only fair to give a BJP leader a chance to become the Chief Minister of Bihar.

"BJP is not a weak party as it was before. Today, it is the strongest party in the nation. It is only appropriate to contest elections in Bihar in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Dr. Thakur said.

Another BJP leader and party spokesperson Prem Ranjan Patel took exception to JD-U leader Sanjay Singh's pushback to Sanjay Paswan's suggestion of replacing Nitish Kumar with a BJP face saying Sanjay Paswan was not an 'insignificant' member of the party and the JD-U should refrain from making such disparaging statements.

"The entire country knows that the NDA got the votes in the last Lok Sabha elections in the name of Narendra Modi. No one could have won had it not for the Prime Minister," Patel said taking a subtle dig at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Meanwhile, Paswan credited himself for making political predictions in the past saying he had always been proven right and will be proven right again when he says the NDA will win at more than 225 seats out of 243 in the coming state elections in Bihar.

"My predictions are never wrong. I had said that the NDA would score victories at more than 350 seats in the Lok Sabha elections and I was proven right. Now I am saying the NDA would win at more than 225 seats in Bihar and I will be proven right once again," he said.

The LJP leader admitted that India was going through a recession but shrugged it off saying it was a global phenomenon that would correct itself in due course.

"Frankly, recessions come and go. Even Manmohan Singh's government had faced recession at one time so there is no need to get riled up about it," he said.

Paswan was also quick to list the accomplishments of Prime Minister Narendra Modi including his actions in Kashmir and his dealing with Pakistan-sponsored terrorists; the partially-successful Chandrayan moon-landing project, and new laws providing protection to the consumers.


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