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Pashupati Paras declares support for NDA

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New Delhi, Mar 30 (PTI) Former Union minister Pashupati Kumar Paras, who quit after his LJP faction was not given any seat by the BJP-led NDA in Bihar for the Lok Sabha elections, on Saturday announced his party's support to the ruling alliance, ending speculation over his next course of action.

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He said in a post on X that his party (Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party) is an unbreakable part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is their leader as well.

Modi's decision is paramount and the NDA will win over 400 seats across the country to form its government for a third time, he said.

"Our Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party is a part of NDA and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is our leader," Paras wrote in a post on X in Hindi, tagging Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president J P Nadda and the party's Bihar in-charge Vinod Tawde.

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Paras had announced his resignation from the Union cabinet after the BJP sealed its alliance of the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) headed by his nephew Chirag Paswan, with whom he has been involved in a bitter feud.

However, he refrained from launching any attack on the BJP except accusing it of doing injustice to him. He has been avoiding the press since he came back to Bihar after giving up his ministerial berth.

With Chirag Paswan being seen to have emerged as the political heir to his late father Ram Vilas Paswan, and local satraps associated with him drifting away in search of better pastures, Paras has apparently decided to stick with the BJP when it is being seen as the favourite to retain power at the Centre.

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BJP leaders have assured him that he will be be given his due respect, sources said.

Paras's Hajipur Lok Sabha seat has gone to the LJP faction led by Paswan who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from there as the NDA candidate.

Paras's party came into being after the Lok Janshakti Party founded by his late brother and Chirag's father Ram Vilas Paswan split in 2021.

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Although Paras had then succeeded in getting the support of all LJP MPs, except Chirag, they have now deserted him, trying to explore prospects in the BJP.

However, the RJD, the largest opposition party in Bihar, on Friday made it clear that it would field its own candidate from the reserved seat which late Paswan had represented multiple terms.

The BJP has been of the view that the nephew and the uncle should come together, though Chirag has maintained that the ball was in the court of Paras who was "caused a split in the family and the party". PTI KR NAC BDC TIR TIR

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