In a curious political development, the son-in-law of federal minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan has joined the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) headed by Lalu Prasad.
Anil Paswan who headed the Dalit Sena, a frontal wing of the LJP, accepted the membership of the RJD with hundreds of his supporters at a meeting addressed by former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday. The development has come as a huge setback to the LJP, a key constituent of the NDA in Bihar.
“Although the LJP chief claims to be working for dalits yet he has been constantly ignoring their interests just to stay in power somehow or the other,” charged Paswan shortly after joining the RJD. He alleged his father-in-law had been working against the Dalits after joining hands with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and added the attacks on Dalits had increased under the NDA rule.
Paswan further dared his father-in-law to contest elections from the general seat, instead of reserved ones, and accused him of compromising the party’s principles and surrendering to the RSS just for “personal gains”.
This is the second biggest setback to the NDA in the past week. On February 28, former Bihar chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manji had walked out of the NDA to join the RJD.
Manjhi whose party fought the 2015 Bihar assembly polls in alliance with the BJP, joined the Grand Alliance after meeting senior RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.
Manjhi was unhappy that his party had not been allotted the Jehanabad seat to contest the bypoll.
Manjhi had then demanded a Rajya Sabha seat to contest for his party in the upcoming elections. As the BJP remained non-committal, Manjhi finally quit the NDA.