I wanted to make BJP stronger: Chirag
LJP leader Chirag Paswan on Wednesday defended his decision of fielding candidates against the JD(U) in large numbers in the Bihar assembly polls which hugely damaged its prospects, saying he wanted Nitish Kumar's party to be "weakened" and succeeded in the endeavour
Patna: LJP leader Chirag Paswan on Wednesday defended his decision of fielding candidates against the JD(U) in large numbers in the Bihar assembly polls which hugely damaged its prospects, saying he wanted Nitish Kumar's party to be "weakened" and succeeded in the endeavour.
He also declared he will not support the new government in Bihar if the NDA stuck to its promise of retaining Nitish Kumar as the chief minister despite the JD (U)'s diminished numbers in the assembly. "We never concealed our intentions. We believed the JD(U) headed by Kumar needed to be weakened and we succeeded. We wanted to make the BJP stronger and its heft has increased unquestionably," Paswan said.
Addressing a press conference here, Paswan said he was happy that the BJP had emerged "much bigger and stronger" in Bihar, and ruled out any possibility of a truck with the opposition Grand Alliance, comprising RJD, Congress and three Left parties, citing "ideological differences".
He also asserted that the LJP displayed "courage" in going solo and ended up with a better vote share though it could not convert into seats. Paswan, whose party fared abysmally securing just one seat in the assembly elections, said the LJP did not wish to carry the tag of "pichhlaggu", the one who rides piggy back.
Nearly 7 lakh voters used NOTA option
A little over seven lakh voters in Bihar used the 'none of the above' or NOTA option in the assembly elections, according to the Election Commission.
Nitish Kumar-led NDA was back in power in Bihar on Wednesday with a slender majority. The ruling coalition won 125 seats in the 243-member state assembly against 110 clinched by the opposition Grand Alliance to pave the way for a fourth successive term for Kumar in office.
According to figures released by the EC, 7,06,252 people or 1.7 per cent of the voters opted for the option whereby they preferred not to vote for any candidate while exercising their democratic right. Over 4 crore votes were polled in the three-phase elections. Out of nearly 7.3 crore voters, 57.09 per cent had cast votes in the polls.
The 'NOTA' option on electronic voting machines, introduced in 2013, has its own symbol -- a ballot paper with a black cross across it. After the Supreme Court order in September, 2013, the EC added the NOTA button on the EVMs as the last option on the voting panel.
Prior to the apex court order, those not inclined to vote for any candidate had the option of filling, what is popularly called, 'form 49-O'.