With NDA ties under strain, LJP wants Jaitley to list demonetisation's benefits
On a day former BJP ally Upendra Kushwaha joined the UPA, the saffron partys ties with the Lok Janshakti Party appeared to be in trouble with LJP leader Chirag Paswan asking the central government to explain what benefits demonetisation brought to the country
New Delhi: On a day former BJP ally Upendra Kushwaha joined the UPA, the saffron party's ties with the Lok Janshakti Party appeared to be in trouble with LJP leader Chirag Paswan asking the central government to explain what benefits demonetisation brought to the country.
An hour-long meeting between top BJP leaders, including its president Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag remained inconclusive, sources indicated.
However, BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, who is his party's in- charge for Bihar and was present in the meeting, insisted that there is no problem in the alliance and that it is intact.
LJP sources said the BJP's defeat in the five state polls have ignited a rethink in the party over its ties with the saffron party.
Chirag, sources said, had written a letter to Jaitley with a copy to Modi after the results were announced on December 11 and asked him to list the benefits of demonetisation so that he can "explain" them to people, they said.
In his comments to media, Chirag has spoken about unease among farmers and youths, and had also tweeted about the ruling National Democratic Alliance passing through "trying times".
Yadav first met the father and son duo at their residence and they then drove to Shah's house where Jaitley also joined them.
Jaitley has in the past dealt with Bihar's political affairs and enjoys good ties with leaders across parties.
A delay in an announcement about seat-sharing arrangement with the LJP has caused further unease in the regional party, which has often switched political camps ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
BJP leaders have maintained a silence over the matter.
The LJP, sources said, wants a better deal than the BJP has offered it, more so after Kushwaha's exit from the alliance.
Chirag had also aired his frustration with the delay in a seat-sharing announcement and said it may harm the ruling alliance.