Paswan Says By-Election Loss Setback for NDA, Calls for Course Correction

Having analysed the assembly polls, the biggest question before Paswan is whether the BJP will be able to transfer upper caste votes to his party candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Patna: Lok Janshakti Party leader and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday echoed his son Chirag's view that NDA suffered a setback in the by-elections and said the alliance needs to ensure “sabka saath sabka vikas” in letter and spirit.

Talking to News18 at Patna airport he said, "Our slogan is sabka saath sabka vikas. But we need to ensure this also. We will have to take along all sections of the society as Congress did by getting support of Dalits, Muslims and other sections."

He termed the defeat in Phulpur and Gorakphur as a big setback for the NDA. "It’s a matter of concern for us. We need to do some course correction. As far as defeat in Araria is concerned, for me, it was almost certain. There was a sympathy wave in Bihar which affected the outcome."

When asked whether there was a sense of unease within the NDA as Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) pulled out of NDA, Paswan said, "See, everyone is free to go wherever they want. But my party is with the NDA. If the Centre had accepted demand of special category for Andhra, then an agitation was bound to happen in Bihar,” he said.