New Delhi: The decision to introduce 10 per cent general category quota will boost the BJP-led NDA’s vote share by 10 per cent, paving the way for Narendra Modi’s re-election as Prime Minister, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Sunday, asserting that voters will reject the Opposition’s proposed grand alliance in Lok Sabha elections due to its inherent contradiction and instability.
In an indirect reference to demonetisations and GST, the BJP ally and Lok Janshakti Party president said the Modi government’s priority to long-term development policies over “populist” programmes may have caused some resentment, at times, in a section of society but people will vote for the Prime minister’s “strong and stable” leadership in Lok Sabha elections.
“Let me tell you. This 10 per cent quota will lead to a rise of 10 per cent in our vote share,” said the dalit leader, who has long been a strong votary for quota for the general category poor.
The Union minister said in Bihar, parties like Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) will find it difficult to open their account after opposing the Bill, adding that the NDA will repeat its 2014 feat of winning more than 70 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh.
In 2014, the NDA won 336 of the total 543 seats in Lok Sabha, with the BJP bagging a majority on its own by emerging victorious in 282 seats. Mr Paswan’s party won six seats.
Mr Paswan hinted that the government will come out with a bevy of schemes in the run up to the election, saying that the ruling alliance has learnt its lessons from its loss in the recent state elections and that there are many arrows in the quiver of Prime Minister Modi.
The BJP lost power to Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan in December.
Taking potshots at the Opposition’s Mahagathbandan, the Bihar leader said it is full of contradictions and many regional parties have not made their stand clear on the prime ministerial candidate from the Congress which, he noted, is the only real national party in the anti-BJP camp.
With several Opposition leaders like BSP’s Mayawati and Trinamool Congress’ Mamata Banerjee, seen to be nursing prime ministerial ambitions, Mr Paswan said the Congress has a history of “destabilising” governments run by other parties as he referred to short tenures of former Prime Ministers H.D. Deve Gowda, I.K. Gujral, Chandra Shekhar and V.P. Singh, among others.
“Any government of Opposition parties will be weak and temporary,” he said.
Mr Paswan was an ally of the Congress before he joined hands with the BJP in 2014 and has served in a number of governments headed by the Janata Dal, the Congress and the BJP since 1989.
The LJP president has announced that he will not fight the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, expected to be held in April-May, and is set to be sent to Rajya Sabha by the ruling alliance. His party will contest six of the 40 seats in Bihar.