Alok Kumar
[email protected]
New Delhi, 5 December
The Lok Janshakti Party chief, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, will have to find a convenient ideological cloak to justify his recent intent to inch closer towards the ruling Janata Dal-U and drift away from his current ally, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, though the actual reason seems to be pragmatic electoral
calculations which would ensure his son a seat in the Lok Sabha in 2014.
 In 2009 both Mr  Paswan and his younger brother Ramchandra Paswan had  had lost elections by huge margins  from Hajipur and Samastipur parliamentary seats reserved  for scheduled castes.
It was then alleged that RJD chief Lalu Prasad had failed to transfer the Yadav votes for the duo despite his best efforts.
Lalu, with a view to keep  Mr Paswan in good humour   had  then seen to it that  the LJP chief entered the Rajya Sabha  next year  on the strength of  the MLAs his party had in the state
legislature.
However, in 2010 both the RJD and the LJP fared so badly that their
combined strength in the state legislature is
insufficient to elect even one member to the Rajya Sabha.
The elder Paswan&’s term in the RS will come to an end after a couple of years, therefore what he wants at the moment is to ensure at least the victory of Chirag Paswan from a Lok Sabha seat and if possible also of his younger brother
Ramchandra Paswan.
JD-U sources said the sitting MP from Hajipur, Mr Ra m Sunder Das,
who had defeated Mr
Paswan in 2009, is a nonagenarian and not keeping good health.
Therefore, JD-U will have no problem offering him that seat. In addition to it the JD-U may offer Gopalganj reserved seat to him and a  few general  seats like Nawadah and Bettiah won by the BJP in alliance with the JD-U in 2009.
Both Mr Paswan and Mr Nitish Kumar had joined hands in the past as well.
In the 1999
parliamentary election both were part of the JD-U and had together fought against Mr Lalu Prasad. Both were also ministers in the
Vajpayee-led NDA government. Mr Paswan had
withdrawn his own candidature in favour of Nitish&’s bid to become chief minister of Bihar for the first time in 2000 albeit for a short duration.
Sensing that Mr Paswan is inclined to join hands with the JD-U, senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has launched a counter-offensive by
declaring  a few days ago that his party is prepared to contest all 40 seats in the state. Interestingly Mr Singh made this claim after he met Lalu Prasad in Ranchi jail.
Mr Chirag Paswan, too, had recently indicated in Patna that his party is not averse to going to the polls on its own strength.
Sources in the RJD said Mr Lalu Prasad is not willing to concede more than  five seats to Mr Paswan for the 2014 polls.
The LJP despite being allocated about a dozen seats of its choice in 2009 could not win any.
In his efforts to keep Mr Paswan at his side, Mr Lalu Prasad had then also ignored the Congress by offering
it only three seats.
This move had cost the RJD dear.