Upendra Kushwaha, the junior minister for human resource development (HRD) in the Narendra Modi government, said on Saturday that the Prime Minister should not have held a road show for the Uttar Pradesh assembly election.
Kushwaha, who is also the chief of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), an ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, issued a statement just hours after Modi’s road show in Varanasi.
“I’d like to tell my friends of the BJP, it is not appropriate for the Prime Minister to hold a road show. It is OK for the PM to hold rallies but not a road show in an assembly election,” Kushwaha said in the statement issued on Saturday night.
The RLSP is an ally of the BJP and has three members in the Lok Sabha, including Kushwaha. The relationship between the two parties has been tense since the Bihar assembly elections in 2015 which the National Democratic Alliance lost to the Grand Alliance.
Last month, the RLSP withdrew from the UP electoral race after Modi spoke with Kushwaha. The RLSP had earlier announced that it would contest 80 of the 403 seats there. The party’s decision had caused discomfort in the BJP camp which is hoping to return to power in the state after two decades.
“The Prime Minister has already said all party MPs are working in the election to make sure the BJP wins, as the Varanasi MP he is also working for the party,” a BJP leader said.