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Chirag Paswan's party to declare Lok Sabha poll candidates 'immediately' after Holi

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Patna, Mar 25 (PTI) NDA ally Chirag Paswan said his Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) will declare its candidates for the Lok Sabha polls immediately after Holi.

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Paswan, whose party has got five of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, also asserted he was "ready for any challenge" that came from his estranged uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras.

"We will announce all our candidates in a few days... immediately after Holi,” Paswan said on Sunday, but evaded a direct reply to the question of whether he would accommodate Veena Devi and Mehboob Ali Kaiser, sitting MPs from Vaishali and Khagaria, respectively.

Both the seats, contested by his late father Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party in 2019, have been assigned to the young leader's party this time. The MPs had rallied behind Paras when he split the LJP in 2021, but of late have been repenting that decision and swearing their loyalty towards the late party founder's son.

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Paswan was also asked about the threat by Paras, who has resigned from his Union cabinet berth, stopping short of quitting the NDA, but vowed to field loyalists in all seats where his nephew's candidates were in the fray.

"I am ready to face any type of challenge," quipped Paswan, who has made it clear that he will be shifting base from Jamui to Hajipur, the seat currently held by Paras, but represented by his late father several times.

"We will work to ensure the victory of the NDA in all 40 seats in Bihar. That is the common aim of all constituents - BJP, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U), former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha, ex-Union minister Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Morcha and my party," asserted Paswan.

While BJP and JD(U) have declared candidates for 17 and 16 seats they are, respectively, fighting, Manjhi's party has announced his candidature from Gaya.

Upendra Kushwaha is likely to enter the fray from Karakat. PTI NAC RBT SOM

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