Asked why being a national party the Congress is contesting on a lesser number of seats than a regional party like the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Paswan told : "Congress has always believed in coalition dharma. Wherever we think we are strong, we are contesting. We share the same ideology."
The JMM is contesting 43 seats in the 81-member Assembly, the Congress 31 and the Rashtriya Janata Dal the remaining seven.
"If they think we are afraid of the BJP, it is their misunderstanding. People of Jharkhand have seen them in the past five years. In fact, the BJP itself is afraid of losing and that is why elections are being held in five phases. Once they said they will remove 'Naxalism' (Maoism) from our state... When they claim it has been removed, then why are the elections being held in four-five phases," Paswan asked.
At a time when the BJP has lost its coalition partner Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the same is on the cards in Jharkhand where its long-term partner All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) has decided to contest against it on 19 seats.
Paswan, however, said the Mahagathbandhan will not go with the AJSU even if they break with the NDA.
"They (AJSU) are more or less the same. I feel after the results, they will again shake hands with them (BJP). We have seen them for last 19 years... We know about them," he added.
When asked about the Mahagathbandhan's roadmap if it wins the elections, Paswan said that it will focus on Jharkhand's development.
"Firstly, we will provide employment to the youth of Jharkhand so that they don't have to go away from the state. The present BJP-led government did nothing for the youth except for looting them. They have given all the mineral-rich lands to the industrialists who are getting benefits, while our youth are struggling for jobs.
"We will change whatever has happened. Every single person in Jharkhand will be happy when we take charge," he said.
The five-stage polls in Jharkhand will begin on November 30 and end on December 20. Counting will take place on December 23.
( With inputs from IANS )