Chirag Paswan said his party will release its manifesto almost six months before the polls (File)
BJP ally Lok Janshakti Party on Tuesday asked political parties to release their manifestos for the Bihar assembly polls, which are slated for later this year, much in advance so that the elections are fought on development agenda and not issues of "Hindu-Musalman" or castes.
LJP president Chirag Paswan told a press conference that "we all saw what happened in the Delhi polls", a reference to polarising issues that dominated the assembly election in the national capital, as he called for fighting the polls in Bihar on the eastern state's development.
Asked if his remarks were aimed at the BJP, which was accused by rival parties of pushing "communal" issues into the Delhi campaign, Mr Paswan answered that the agenda of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is development.
He also appealed to the Election Commission that it should ask political parties to release their manifestoes in advance and not very close to elections.
The LJP will release its manifesto almost six months before the polls, he added.
"Debates should be about manifestoes, not issues of Hindu, Musalman or castes," he said.
He spoke to media after a meeting of LJP leaders about the party's preparations for its "Bihar first Bihari first" rally on April 14 in Patna. The party will then also release its vision document aimed at making Bihar, which remains one of the most backward Indian states, one of the developed places in the country, he added.
Migration and unemployment are serious issues in the state which also suffers from crime, said Mr Paswan, who is undertaking a tour across the state to receive people''s feedback for his party's manifesto.
The LJP leader, however, rejected suggestions that his comments sounded critical of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's rule, saying as an ally he believed it was his duty to highlight issues facing the state.
The state witnessed development under Mr Kumar and is now ready for a leap forward, he said, crediting the Janata Dal (United) president for laying the foundation for Bihar''s progress into the league of most developed places.
The NDA, which included BJP, JD(U) and the LJP in Bihar, will retain power, and Kumar will assume the top post again, he asserted.
Asked about Prashant Kishor''s attack on Kumar over development issues, Paswan said he may have his differences with him but welcomes anybody talking about the state''s progress.
Mr Kishor, who heads the political advocacy group I-PAC, was recently expelled from the JD(U) over his increasing criticism of the party over a host of issues.