Even as the BJP prepares for the upcoming assembly election in Bihar amid friction in the NDA, the Lok Janshakti Party has now voiced its opinion against holding the polls as scheduled.
Expressing his reservations on the issue, LJP President Chirag Paswan on Friday said that a time when social distancing is the buzz word, if elections are held, it can put many at health risk and the turnout too can be low.
Paswan, the son of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, said: “The Election Commission should also take a decision on this subject, lest a large population is put at risk due to the election. In the midst of this epidemic, polling percentages may also remain low, which is not good for democracy.”
He also cited the financial burden it will put on the state as it fights the Covid-19 pandemic. He said all members of the LJP’s Parliamentary Board have raised concerns on the “economic burden” it may put on the state. Bihar has been seeing a steady flow of returning migrants ever since the nationwide Shramik trains were started.
However, the LJP leader was cautious enough to make sure the message doesn’t go out that the party is not poll ready. He said that the booth list of 94 legislative seats has been verified by the LJP.
Paswan junior’s concern comes amid growing friction between two NDA constituents – the Janata Dal-United and the LJP. Earlier, the LJP has been critical of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s handling of the migrant crisis. In the MLC election, the JD-U opposed giving any seat to the LJP – seen as a rebuff to Paswan junior’s criticism of the Chief Minister.
Sources say that the JD-U is even pressing for a larger share of seats, virtually signalling the LJP needs to be accommodated from BJP’s share.