Nitish move driven by desire to run for PM in 2024: Chirag Paswan

Chirag, whom Nitish has accused of conspiring with the BJP to weaken the JD(U), also defended the saffron party saying it did “all it could” to keep the Bihar coalition alive.

“I demand President’s rule in Bihar and fresh polls. Even otherwise, there will be midterm polls in Bihar,” Chirag told a press conference in New Delhi.

Without naming either the RJD or the Congress, Chirag said he had a word of caution for JD(U)’s new allies in the state.

“I want to tell the parties which are now joining hands with Nitish Kumar (to form government) that very soon, he will betray them as well and ruin their future. Wo kisika saga nahi hai (he is loyal to none),” Chirag said.

“I have said this time and again… nothing matters more to Nitish Kumar than his personal ambitions. Now he is hoping to be the Opposition camp’s PM candidate in 2024… that has guided his latest move also.”

The LJP leader further alleged that Nitish had waited to make the move until the NDA declared its candidate for the Vice President polls on August 6, hoping that would be him.

On Nitish’s accusations that Chirag’s decision to walk out of the NDA ahead of the 2020 Assembly polls in Bihar had cost the JD(U) and turned it into the BJP’s junior partner in terms of seats, Chirag said:

“I take it as a compliment… Even I am not aware of my own abilities, which they (JDU) have made me realise through their allegations.”

He further said: “I am surprised to hear that JD(U) says it was humiliated (by the BJP). The leader of the party which was number three in terms of seats was made the CM of Bihar. Is this humiliation? BJP agreed to whatever Nitish wanted as a CM. The BJP compromised with its policies, from CAA to caste census, just to support him, which I opposed.”

Meanwhile, Chirag, who had attended the NDA’s meeting on the Presidential Polls in July but denied suggestions he was again joining the coalition appeared less dismissive of the idea on Tuesday.

“How does it matter whether I am with the BJP or my uncle? I decided to go alone in 2020. And in any case, decisions on alliances are taken before polls,” he said, referring to Rashtriya Lok Janshakti chief Pashupati Kumar Paras, who took away five of six MPs elected from the undivided LJP in 2019.

While Paras is now a Union minister, Chirag is the sole member of his faction of the LJP in the Lok Sabha.

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