Observing that an internecine strife has rocked the Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) after it suffered debacle in the Lok Sabha elections last month prompting Nitish Kumar to resign from the Chief Minister's post, Union Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan claimed that a mid-term poll may be held in Bihar within next six months.
"The JD(U) is wobbling with uncertain future... I don't think the Jitan Ram Manjhi government will last for long forcing a mid-term poll in Bihar within next six months," Paswan told reporters.
Kumar, despite demitting his post, was running the Jitan Ram Manjhi government with remote control while his successor was there for the sake of arrangement and does not have powers to arrest the slide of the JD(U) or its government for long, Paswan said.
The ruling party's disinclination to contest by-polls on three Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar clearly pointed to an internecine strife within it amid banner of revolts raised by dozens of its lawmakers against the leadership, Paswan said.
"The JD(U) leadership perhaps does not want to face embarrassment in the by-polls on three Rajya Sabha seats next week as it's not sure how many lawmakers are with the party," the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) supremo said. "The ruling party has 117 MLAs, but nobody is sure that even 17 MLAs are committed to it," Paswan claimed.
Taking potshots at JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav and former chief minister Nitish Kumar for holding meetings separately with bunch of legislators loyal to each, the Union minister said that the ongoing conflict within the JD(U) pointed towards an imminent mid-term polls in Bihar any time within next six months.
Paswan, who joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of Lok Sabha elections and emerged stronger with his party LJP winning six out of seven parliamentary seats that it contested, said that the NDA will, however, make no efforts to rock the Jitan Ram Manjhi government and said that he was sure that it will fall down under the weight of revolt by dozens of lawmakers.
The LJP supremo exuded confidence that the NDA will sweep Assembly polls in Bihar whenever it takes place and said that it will help Bihar's development when the same political party or alliance simultaneously rules at the Centre and in the state.
On the choice of chief ministerial candidate to lead the NDA in the Assembly polls in Bihar, he said that the central leadership of its constituents will meet and decide on it at an appropriate time.
On his name as well as the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha emerging as the front runners for the NDA chief ministerial candidate, the LJP supremo played safe saying that it was for the NDA leaders to decide on the matter.