NEW DELHI/PATNA: Even as LJP continued to mount pressure on BJP for an early decision on seat sharing in Bihar, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag set tongues wagging by lauding Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s performance in the just concluded assembly elections.

“I responded to a question in a TV programme about Rahul Gandhi’s performance. If people criticised him when Congress did not do well, there’s nothing wrong in appreciating his leadership when his party did well in three states. The issues raised by his party convinced the electorate while we digressed from core issues of farmers and youth and other issues took centrestage. The results show what people want from the government,” Chirag told TOI.

He added the lead NDA partner should stick to “vikas” (development), rather than focusing on other issues, if it wanted to repeat its 2014 performance.

While Chirag, who has been holding talks with BJP on seat sharing, claimed that the number of seats was not an issue and his tweets aimed at BJP were not a pressure tactic, his uncle and LJP’s Bihar president Pashupati Kumar Paras on Wednesday set a December 31 deadline for the saffron party to seal the seat sharing deal in the state.

“There is not much time left for general elections. Hence, Shah (Amit Shah) must finalise the issue by December 31. We demand a respectful formula. Two NDA allies decided on seat-sharing in Bihar. Shah should have discussed it with all NDA partners before making an announcement. It was wrong not to consult our party president on the issue,” Paras, a minister in Nitish Kumar’s government, told reporters in Patna.

Meanwhile, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar is scheduled to be in Delhi on December 21 on a two-day trip to hold discussions with party leaders on issues related to the 2019 elections.

In two tweets on Tuesday, Chirag had hinted all was not well within the NDA and had urged BJP to address the allies’ concerns.

“We have always remained an honest partner and tried to solve issues within. It is only when things go out of hand that we take steps like these. There are people who are seeing my tweets as pressure tactics. I want to make it clear that we don’t indulge in pressure tactics. My difference is only on issues. Our focus should be farmers and youth, who voted us to power, and we need to share with them what steps we have taken rather than other issues,” he said



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