"If at all there is anything that is playing out in the public space, my instant reaction would be that it is completely and purely speculative," Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said. LJP to tie up with BJP for Lok Sabha polls LJP goes soft on Modi but says talks with Congress still on (JPN/Agencies)
Referring to Paswan, Tewari said the 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.
Tewari said Paswan had chosen to walk out when a large number of other people with similar apprehensions had chosen to stay with the NDA.
Paswan's party had been an alliance partner of NDA government but the LJP chief was the first to quit the BJP-led alliance in 2002 post-Godhra riots.
A senior Lok Janshakti Party leader had earlier on Sunday said that his party has decided to go with BJP in the next Lok Sabha polls.
After a meeting of LJP leaders at Paswan’s residence in New Delhi, former MP and party leader Surajbhan Singh said the ‘alliance between LJP and BJP has been finalized’.
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) on Monday appeared to be going soft on Narendra Modi with party chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag saying the Gujarat Chief Minister’s alleged involvement in 2002 riots is not an issue after the clean chit given to him by the court.
“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," Chirag told reporters here.
The remarks of Chirag, who heads the LJP Parliamentary Board, are significant as his father Ram Vilas Paswan was the first minister to quit the NDA government on the issue of Gujarat riots.
To questions about LJP cozying up to BJP and whether LJP's alliance with Congress and RJD has broken up, Chirag said, “Yes I will agree to the fact that there has been distrust in the party leaders because there is no clarity over alliance (with Congress and RJD). That's why very soon, we can have Parliamentary Board meeting in which we are going to decide what our future strategy is going to be.”
However, another senior leader maintained that the possibility of an alliance with RJD and Congress is not yet over.
LJP secretary general Abdul Khalik, however, said, "It is not yet over. Talks are going on."
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.
Asked whether LJP's talks are continuing with BJP for alliance in Bihar, he merely said, "I am not involved in that."
"The party is feeling suffocated and cornered because negotiations (with Congress and RJD) in last three months have not yielded the desired result. LJP is getting an impression that it is not wanted in the alliance," he said.
Sources said that LJP leaders from Bihar are primarily involved in talks with BJP. BJP MP Shahnawaj Hussein had called on LJP a few days back while senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad had visited Paswan on January 14 on the day of Makar Sankranti.
Both the visits were downplayed by the BJP leaders then. A former LJP MP from Bihar, Surajbhan Singh, had on Sunday said that the LJP will enter into an alliance with BJP and a formal announcement would be made very soon.
Ram Vilas Paswan had been a minister in both BJP-led NDA and Congress-led UPA-I governments while his party is currently supporting UPA II from outside. The sources in the party said that LJP had given a list of 10 seats it wanted to contest out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar to AICC general secretary in-charge for Bihar C P Joshi in January itself.
"If at all there is anything that is playing out in the public space, my instant reaction would be that it is completely and purely speculative," Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said.
LJP to tie up with BJP for Lok Sabha polls
LJP goes soft on Modi but says talks with Congress still on