New Delhi: With Bihar the next big electoral battle after Delhi, Union minister and NDA constituent Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) founder Ram Vilas Paswan has set the rules, asserting that political parties with different ideologies can come together to fight elections, but a government can be run only on the basis of a common minimum programme (CMP), like in Maharashtra.
Mr Paswan was referring to differences within the Bihar NDA over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, that is likely to be followed by a countrywide NRC.
It might be recalled that the Union minister had recently said that if certain questions, including those pertaining to parents’ birth dates, are asked in the National Population Register (NPR) or the National Register of Citizens, he would not be able to remember.
“Even I don’t know the date of birth of my parents, forget about producing documents proving the dates,” he had said.
However, he said, that the Prime Minister has clarified the position of the government on CAA-NRC and there should be no further doubts.
“You have to rely on the words of the Prime Minister,” Mr Paswan told this newspaper.
Questioned on whether there were differences within the Bihar NDA over these issues, he said even if parties have divergent views, these can be kept aside for the sake of running a government.
“Scenarios have changed in all states. There should be flexibility on ideological positions and the aims and objectives of the parties should remain the same while working in the government”.
He added that like in Maharashtra, governments should run on a Common Minimum Programme, including in Bihar post polls.
When pointed out that there was no CMP in Bihar right now, he said one has to understand that the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) joined the government later and was part of the Grand Alliance in 2015 while fighting the Assembly polls.
Mr Paswan maintained that as stated by home minister Amit Shah, Mr Kumar would remain the chief ministerial face of the NDA in Bihar, however, as his own party, the LJP, is looking to better its seats tally, his son and LJP chief Chirag Paswan has already hit the road.
“Chirag has already said it is Bihar first and will soon spell out a five-year roadmap for the state,” he said adding that his party has also launched a membership drive.
On March 14, a massive rally is scheduled to be held at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan where the party will officially launch its campaign.