Calling the claim “baseless”, Modi told ET the talks collapsed as LJP wanted 36 seats against the 20 offered and that Shah has denied discussing this with Chirag Paswan.
“I spoke to Amit Shah on phone and he has refuted that it was his tacit support or that he remained silent – in fact there was no such discussion between him and Chirag. It is totally baseless. The truth is that the talks had broken down at the lower level itself as Chirag was hell-bent upon getting 36 seats while BJP was not ready to offer more than 20 given LJP’s record of winning just two out of 42 seats given in 2015,” Modi said.
Modi added that Paswan, by objecting to Kumar becoming the next chief minister, was “opposing and challenging the authority” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah as it was their decision.
“People who cannot win a single seat on their own strength are speaking of forming a government with us later. When you say you will not let Kumar become CM, you mean you will not let a BJP government be formed. There is a design behind this to stop BJP from coming to power,” Modi said.
He said Chirag was told during the talks that BJP could give him 42 seats in 2015 as it was fighting alone then but it was not possible this time as JD(U) now is part of the NDA.
“He won two seats, and now he wanted 36 seats. How could a party which had earlier won 54 seats (BJP) contest below 100 seats? The gap of the demand (by LJP) was so big that BJP could never accept it and talks broke down at a lower level,” Modi told ET.
The Deputy CM said “most of the confusion created by Paswan” had already been cleared by the BJP in recent days and that the remaining will be removed when he begins a joint campaign with Kumar, to be followed by the joint rallies of PM Modi and the CM.