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LJP has no issues with Narendra Modi; talks on with BJP for tie-up

Monday, 24 February 2014 - 5:21pm IST | Place: INDIA | Agency: PTI
Giving a boost to the possibility of a pre-poll tie-up with BJP, top LJP leader Chirag Paswan today said the party has no issues with Narendra Modi after courts have given him a "clean" chit in the 2002 riots.

Giving a boost to the possibility of a pre-poll tie-up with BJP, top LJP leader Chirag Paswan today said the party has no issues with Narendra Modi after courts have given him a "clean" chit in the 2002 riots.

Chirag, son of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, refused to clearly spell out whether the party would be having an alliance with BJP and merely said the party's Parliamentary Board will meet soon to decide on the issue of alliances.

Sources said that LJP, which was a part of NDA before parting way after the 2002 Gujarat riots, is unhappy over the dilly dallying by Congress and RJD over seat-sharing and is considering other options.
Chirag, who heads LJP's Parliamentary Board, and his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras are in talks with BJP for a possible alliance, the sources said.

At the same time, the sources said, the alliance with Congress and RJD stands as of now.

While remaining tight-lipped on the issue of talks, Chirag Paswan said there is "distress" in the party over the way the seat-sharing issue has been dragging with Congress and Lalu Prasad-led RJD.

Asked whether LJP would have no problem with Modi in view of cases against him in connection with 2002 riots, Chirag said, "If the court has given its verdict and they say he (Modi) is clean, then I do not think it is an issue to talk about now."

BJP President Rajnath Singh, however, was evasive on the issue, saying he was "not aware of what kind of talks" are taking place with LJP.

Asked if there would be any decision soon, he said, "if some announcement has to be made, you will be told." BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said a number of parties are reaching out to BJP as it is surging and Congress is losing. "But unless something concrete happens, we will not like to share anything," he said.

At the same time, there were voices of opposition within BJP over possible tie-up with LJP.

Senior BJP leader from Bihar Ashwini Choubey said he will be "very hurt" if such a thing was happening.

"What is the point in aligning with someone, whom we had reduced to zero in last election? Where will we go by adopting such politics minus principles," he asked.

He slammed LJP, saying it had "always abused" BJP and were "engaged in practising politics of corruption dynasty and casteism."

LJP Secretary General Abdul Khalik, who has been holding negotiations with Congress and RJD on seat-sharing, said the talks are still going on.

"It is not yet over," he said when asked whether the alliance with Congress and RJD is over.

Khalik, who had been negotiating from the LJP side with Congress and RJD on seat sharing, said he is not involved in any alliance talks with BJP but parried questions on whether talks with the BJP are going on or not.

BJP, which is keenly trying to woo dalits, is expected to get a boost if a pre-poll alliance with LJP fructifies.

Ram Vilas Paswan was a minister in BJP-led NDA government before he shifted and became a part of Congress-led UPA. He was a minister in UPA-I government and is still supporting the government from outside.

Congress leader Manish Tewari termed as speculation that BJP and LJP were going to have an alliance.

"A person who chose to walk out of a government on the question of Gujarat riots would find it hard to take a U-turn on that position considering that issues arising out of the incidents of 2002 continue to remain unaddressed, especially the question of justice for the victims. 


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