New Delhi: Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ramvilas Paswan Thursday returned to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and announced an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the Lok Sabha elections.
The announcement was made by Paswan along with BJP president Rajnath Singh here.
It marked the first major aggregation to the NDA after the Janata Dal-United pulled out of the alliance last year over growing projection of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
The two leaders announced that a seat sharing agreement has been worked out and the LJP will contest seven of 40 seats in Bihar.
They also announced that Paswan will attend Modi’s rally in Muzaffarpur next month.
Paswan, who had resigned from the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and walked out of the NDA over the 2002 Gujarat riots, said he had no reservations with Modi’s candidature for prime minister.
“We are now part of the NDA. The NDA has already declared (Modi as) its prime ministerial candidate. There is no need to ask the question again,” Paswan said.
A smiling Paswan said the next government will be formed by the NDA and expressed his happiness on joining the alliance.
He said the Vajpayee-led NDA had done more for Dalits and the poor compared to the past few years of the United Progressive Alliance government.
Rajnath Singh said there was growing inclination of Dalit leaders towards the BJP and the NDA.
“There is attraction of the Dalit community (towards the BJP). All want Modi to be the prime minister,” he said.
“The country is passing through a difficult time. If anybody can help overcome problems, it is the BJP-led NDA,” Rajnath Singh added.
He said Paswan will meet Modi and also senior party leader L.K. Advani.
Several BJP and LJP leaders were present at Rajnath Singh’s residence to announce the alliance.
The BJP chief said Upendra Kushwaha, a leader of the backward classes, would also be present at Modi’s rally in Muzaffarpur.