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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Some in NDA don’t want PM Modi to be re-elected in 2019: Union minister Kushwaha

RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha also said no talks of seat sharing for 2019 Lok Sabha elections have taken place in Bihar.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2018 23:08 IST
Anil Kumar
Anil Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha addresses a press conference at the party office, in Patna.
Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha addresses a press conference at the party office, in Patna.(PTI File Photo)

Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha alleged that some elements in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) camp were engaged in spreading rumours over seat-sharing for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with the sole intent to trigger conflicts and eventually compromise the chances of Prime Minister Narendra Modi returning to power.

Responding to allegations that his recent ‘kheer’ remark was indicative of backroom parleys with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), he said: “Some people in the NDA are not comfortable with Narendra Modi as PM. They do not want him to get re-elected and are working overtime to sow seeds of discord in the NDA.”

Without taking names of people or party engaged in the “conspiracy”, Kushwaha, one of the first votaries for an early conclusion of seat sharing exercise in the NDA camp, said the unwarranted controversy over seat sharing was part of the “design” to weaken the NDA ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls.

The Union minister said that at present, there are no discussions or disputes over the issue. Even senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushil Kumar Modi and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan have rejected the authenticity of the “selective leak”, he said, but declined to disclose the names of those involved at this juncture.

Responding to Kushwaha’s comments, BJP’s state spokesperson Sanjay Tiger said, “It’s up to Upendra Kushwaha to disclose the name but as far as people of the country are concerned, they have already made up their mind to re-elect Narendra Modi as PM of the country for its all round development.”

Rejecting claims that he was disenchanted by the ‘khichdi’ that was cooking in NDA camp and ‘inclined’ towards the Grand Alliance’s five-seat welcome offer, Kushwaha asserted that he was very much in the NDA and his remark about the ‘kheer’ that he sought to prepare with milk from Yadavs and rice from Kushwahas was intended to strengthen it.

The sweet dish will become tastier if an assortment of dry fruits from EBCs, sugar from Brahmins, ‘tulsi’ leaves from Dalits were added to the preparation and ‘dastarkhan’ from Muslims was laid out for having community feast together, he said.

“I have neither asked for milk from the RJD nor sugar from the BJP. We will pursue our efforts to cook ‘kheer’ at the ground level rather than building castles in the air.”

“We will kick off ‘paigam-e-kheer’, essentially a social campaign to spread the message of equality and brotherhood among all religion and castes, in far off villages of the state, on September 25,” he said.

Kushwaha also said the ‘kheer’ analogy was misinterpreted the way five blind persons tried to describe an elephant in their own way by touching different parts of its body. “I am very much in the NDA. The expansion in RLSP’s base will only strengthen the alliance and contribute to ensuring the re-election of Narendra Modi,” he said.

The RLSP, he said, favoured the continuation of reservation and believed that quota system catalysed development as evident in the case of southern states where it had been in vogue for quite some time. As for the poor among upper castes, there should be adequate efforts for their uplift. “The modalities for the same need to be worked out,” Kushwaha said, adding, “There is no need for any conflict.”

First Published: Aug 31, 2018 18:54 IST

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