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(Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ram Vilas Paswan passed away on Thursday, 8 October, just days after his party decided not to contest the upcoming Bihar elections with JD(U). The Quint is republishing this interview of Paswan, originally published on 27 September, 2019, where he had said that his party will contest the 2020 Bihar polls under Nitish Kumar’s leadership.)
Putting rest to all speculations, Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, in a chat with The Quint’s Editorial Director Sanjay Pugalia said Nitish Kumar will continue to be the NDA’s face for the 2020 Bihar Assembly polls.
Ahead of the 2020 Bihar Assembly polls, there are rumours of infighting within the ruling JD(U) and its ally BJP. When asked about this infighting and speculations of their gathbandhan weakening, Ram Vilas Paswan said,
“I have no clue about the infighting. These stories only circulate in the media. But do you have names of those involved in the so-called infighting? The names that you will take are not even known to the masses. These are petty issues. The elections are like Holi. Just like in Holi, you spread different colours, the same happens during elections. Throughout the day, people get into the mud, play with colours, but by the evening, people clean up and put on new clothes. Ahead of elections, these rumours spread, These are minor issues. Once the elections are over, everything falls in line.”
In 2019 both parties – the JD(U) and BJP fought the Lok Sabha elections together. Both parties contested in 17 seats each and achieved tremendous success in Bihar. The BJP had won in all 17 seats and the JD(U) in 16 seats.
When asked if BJP is the senior party and JD(U) the junior party in Bihar, Paswan said:
“I do not want to comment on this. We are all in one team. In a family, there are no seniors or juniors. I always thought one’s head is always high and one’s feet are at the bottom. If you have a headache, you can still bear it. But if your legs are injured, you can’t even move. In a team, everyone has prominence. There are no seniors or juniors. There are no elder or younger brothers.”
This story was originally published on Quint Hindi.