Bihar Assembly Elections 2015

Bhagwat, Dadri did us in: Paswan

Ram Vilas Paswan says the Opposition was successful in latching on to the Dadri incident and convincing the people that the minorities won’t be safe if NDA comes to power.  

NDA partner and Union Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Ram Vilas Paswan has blamed, among other factors, RSS chief > Mohan Bhagwat’s comments asking for a review of the reservation policy and the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh, as reasons for the alliance’s defeat in the Bihar elections.

Speaking for the first time on the poll loss, Mr. Paswan said: “The RSS is an independent organisation, but in what context did it speak on the issue? Whether it was because of Hardik Patel or something else, it helped the Grand Alliance polarise the election between the backward and the forward.”

“Everyone, including the Prime Minister, clarified on this issue, but we were not able to convince the people,” he added. “We have analysed the defeat. Nitish Kumar announced reservations for about 20 castes, that too had an impact,” he said.

Two numerically strong castes belonging to the Extremely Backward Castes (EBCs) — Nonia and Nishad — had been moved to the SC category by the State government headed by Mr. Kumar, giving the Mahagathbandhan an advantage.

“The incident in Dadri was a law and order problem, which had to do with the Uttar Pradesh government and (SP chief) Mulayam Singh. Instead, the Opposition was successful in latching onto the incident and convincing the people that the minorities would not be safe if the NDA came to power,” he added.

Mr. Paswan defended Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah as having worked very hard for the Bihar campaign. He said Mr. Modi had done his bit by getting record attendance at his rallies, while Mr. Shah had camped in Patna trying to bolster the organisation’s work in the State. He also had a grim prognosis for the health of the government in Bihar, to be sworn in on Friday.

“This is like floodwater. It will not remain at the same level in six months. Much water would have flown out by 2019,” he said, describing the current state of politics in Bihar. He added that his party would be working to strengthen its organisation for the next three months. Mr. Paswan had bargained hard to fight on 40 seats, the largest any ally had been given in the seat-sharing arrangement in the NDA, but secured only two seats in the 243-member Assembly.

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2021 2:06:35 AM |

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