PATNA: Barely about five weeks into power, the ruling NDA is Bihar is caught in a peculiar battle for power share.
Today, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), one of the NDA constituents, questioned its exclusion from the Nitish Kumar cabinet. HAM is led by former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi who is the lone legislator from his party.
“Pashupati Kumar Paras was first inducted as a minister in the Nitish Kumar government and now he is being nominated to the Legislative council but HAM has not got representation in the cabinet,” alleged a HAM spokesperson on Sunday.
The LJP promptly objected to this move by the HAM. “Paras is a senior senior leader. Moreover, it’s prerogative of the chief minister to induct anyone as a minister,” LJP spokesperson Ashraf Ansari told the media today.
Paras who is younger brother of union minister and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan is currently not a member of any House of the state legislature.
In the last 2015 assembly elections, he contested elections from his home town Alauli seat but lost the elections to his RJD rival by a huge margin of over 70,000 votes.
He also got badly defeated in 2010 assembly elections by around 54,000 votes, indicating how the LJP has been fast losing grip over its Dalit voters.
Yet, he was made a minister in the NDA government after Nitish Kumar dumped the Grand Alliance to form government with the BJP in July last.
This has apparently not gone down well among the NDA allies, especially the HAM.
The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), another NDA constituent led by Upendra Kushwaha, union minister, too is not happy although it has not expressed its annoyance in public.