Lok Jan Shakti Party chief and Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan on Sunday said his party “disapproves” of the issues raised recently in RSS mouthpiece Panchjanya and the Dadri incident. He also said that RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat’s statement on reservation had created “confusion” among Bihar voters.
Talking exclusively with The Hindu during his campaign in several constituencies in Nalanda district on Sunday, Mr. Paswan admitted that the issue of “development” appears to have been put on the backburner and other unwarranted issues have come to the forefront. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had never ever mentioned issues such as Ram Janmabhoomi, Article 370 or uniform civil code, he added.
The Union Minister, though, sounded confident that despite all the confusion, the NDA would form the next government with two-thirds majority in Bihar. “Where RJD has not put up Yadav candidates, people are voting for the Yadav candidates we’ve fielded,” he said.
‘Unholy alliance’ At four meetings Mr. Paswan addressed along with senior BJP leader and former Bihar Minister Prem Kumar, he attacked both RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for entering into an “unholy alliance to cheat and fool the people of the State”.
“Their alliance partner leaders like Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi don’t share stage with Mr. Lalu Prasad and keep praising Nitish Kumar ... what kind of alliance is this”? It is not ‘mahagathbandhan’ (grand alliance) but ‘mahalathbandhan’ (grand rival alliance),” he said.
He took a jibe at Mr. Lalu Prasad saying, “ Jo beta ko nahi padha saka, aapko kya padhayega (those who could not give their own sons a proper education, what will they do to provide one to your children?)” Recent reports said Mr. Lalu Prasad’s younger son Tejashwi, contesting the Assembly poll from the Raghopur constituency, has only passed Class IX.
At his last meeting at Harnaut, Mr. Paswan ridiculed Mr. Nitish Kumar’s announcement of a big package for Bihar’s development and said when he was not able to spend the Centre’s funds for several Central schemes, “how will he spend all this money and from where would he get such a huge amount?”
“He (Mr. Kumar) never contests Assembly election but comes through the backdoor [Legislative Council],” charged Mr. Paswan.