RLJP-LJP Merger   

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is rumoured to be in talks with Mukesh Sahani, the chief of the Vikas Sheel Insaan Party (VIP), and Chirag Paswan, the leader of the Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas), about forming an alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. The buzz is that before the announcement of the alliance between LJP and the BJP, Union Minister and President of the Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party (RLJP) Pashupati Kumar Paras will go ahead with a merger of the party with his estranged nephew Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas). The RLJP has five members in the Lok Sabha from Bihar. The erstwhile LJP had won six seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election in Bihar. But after a split in the LJP, five MPs went with the Paras-led RLJP, while Ram Vilas Paswan’s only son Chirag Paswan remained the lone MP of the LJP (Ram Vilas). 

Upendra Kushwaha to join BJP? 

With Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar categorically ruling out appointing a deputy other than Tejashwi Yadav, and rumours swirling that Upendra Kushwaha may leave the JD(U) and join the BJP. Upendra Kushwaha, who started his political career in 1985, has switched parties seven times in the last 15 years. Kushwaha, who was a Union Minister in the Modi government, has formulated his own party twice. Kushwaha and Nitish are known as Luv-Kush in Bihar. Meanwhile, Upendra Kushwaha had said that the RJD had created a controversy over the Ramcharitmanas as part of a design to help the BJP in lieu of leniency from the Centre in the corruption cases against RJD chief Lalu Prasad. Sushil Kumar Modi, on the other hand, defended Kushwaha and concluded that the JD(U) has no or a bleak future. 

Change of Guard 

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has appointed the former Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) president and MLA from the Anklav constituency, Amit Chavda, as the Congress Legislative Party Leader and Shailesh Parmar, MLA from Danilimda, as the Deputy Leader. Chavda is an OBC, and Parmar is a Dalit. With this latest development, the party has hinted that there will be a change of guard in the state organisation, and there is every chance that the party will appoint the GPCC president from the tribal community.

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