Union Minister Nityanand Rai has rejected Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's charge that former Lok Janshakti Party president Chirag Paswan had worked as a “BJP agent” in the assembly polls three years ago.
Rai alleged that Paswan had parted ways with NDA because of the "arrogance" of Kumar, the JD(U)'s supreme leader, whom he also charged with having lost touch with “public sentiment”.
“It is false to say that we wanted to weaken Nitish Kumar in the 2020 assembly polls. His party fared much worse than the BJP because he has lost touch with public sentiment. His arrogance had become a big problem and it was the only reason why Chirag Paswan had to break apart”, Rai, a former Bihar BJP president, claimed on Saturday.
Paswan had fielded LJP candidates, many of them BJP rebels, in all seats contested by the JD(U) which finished with a tally of 43, a steep decline since 2015 when it had won 71 seats.
Though the BJP chose to stick to its alliance with Kumar, Paswan openly stated that his brinkmanship was aimed at helping the saffron party form its own government.
On Friday, Kumar had blamed the poor show of his party in the 2020 assembly polls on the BJP's use of its “agent”, without naming the former ally or Paswan by name.
Kumar had dumped the BJP in August last year to join hands with the RJD and other parties to form the 'Mahagathbandhan' government in the state.