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For 400+, all allies must be on same platform amicably: Chirag Paswan

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NEW DELHI: Marking a huge comeback by getting five Lok Sabha seats to contest as part of NDA, LJP (Ram Vilas) chief Chirag Paswan said he will campaign with Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to ensure a sweep of 40 LS seats in Bihar on Monday.

“All the allies have to be on the same platform amicably to ensure a total sweep,” Chirag said.

Chirag’s bitter falling out with Nitish Kumar saw him fielding his nominees against JD(U) candidates and set in motion a chain of events leading to a split in his party and his consequent relegation to the background.

Nitish blamed Chirag for the sharp drop in the number of his seats and an acute sense of frustration, misplaced and exaggerated by his colleagues, allies and rivals alike, which was exploited by a JD(U) section to incite him to defect to RJD.

Speaking to reporters after the seat-sharing announcement was made, Chirag thanked Kumar and other NDA partners in Bihar for amicably deciding the alliance. He said that after the state gets a “double engine” govt, development in Bihar will get a big push.

Talking to TOI on his appreciation of Kumar, the two-time MP from Jamui said, “We are targeting 400-plus seats… so, yes, for that we all need to and have to come together on the same platform.”

On whether he will share the dais with the Bihar CM, Chirag said, “I have already shared dais with him, even previously. So that’s not a problem.”

He said he will contest from Hajipur Lok Sabha seat, which was represented by his late father Ram Vilas Paswan. “That’s one thing that has been well conveyed to me by the parliamentary board of our party that they will prefer me only to contest from Hajipur,” he added.

On whether he will face a challenge from his estranged uncle and Union minister Pasupati Kumar Paras who has reiterated his intention to contest from Hajipur, Chirag said he is ready to face any challenge.

He also wondered whether Paras will contest considering he has maintained he has full faith in PM Narendra Modi.

On his party being hopeful of getting the old symbol of LJP, Bungalow, Chirag said like they succeeded in getting a good number of seats in NDA, they expect to succeed on the symbol front as well. “We have submitted our claims and documents. Now Election Commission has to take a decision of who is the real successor of the party symbol. I have full faith that we will successfully get the symbol as we overcame the seat-sharing issue,” he said.

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