New Delhi: Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday announced a nationwide programme to highlight pro-dalit and pro-backward communities initiatives undertaken by the Modi-government.
Mr Paswan also asserted that the BJP-led alliance of four parties will remain intact in Bihar and played down speculation of an alliance between Union minister Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.
“The RJD has no future. Lalu Prasad is going to jail and his son is facing criminal charges. Why should anybody ally with that party? All four parties of the NDA will contest the Lok Sabha polls together and win all 40 seats in Bihar,” Mr Paswan said at a press conference.
The LJP will organise dalit rights (dalit adhikar) rally and conferences in Punjab on August 30, in Gujarat on September 4, in Lucknow on September 5 and in Kaithal of Haryana on September 16, Mr Paswan said, adding that a number of other cities would also be covered as part of the programme.
He said his party would also focus on the alleged callousness of the previous Congress governments at the Centre.
He claimed that the Modi-government’s decision to strengthen the law on atrocities against dalits and tribals, besides its advocacy for reservation for these communities in promotion in government jobs have turned the tide in favour of the NDA.
With less than eight months left before Lok Sabha elections, the NDA is making an all out effort to win over dalits.
Mr Paswan said the Opposition parties which used to call the NDA-government anti-dalit have now become silent.
He said the Congress, BSP and other parties in the Opposition did nothing for dalits and other backward communities (OBCs) when they were in power.
He recalled the passage of a bill in Parliament which granted constitutional status to the OBC commission.
Attacking BSP chief Mayawati, Mr Paswan said she diluted provisions of law on atrocities against dalits in 2007.
He dared her to explain her position on the matter, claiming he would resign if proven wrong, or else she must quit politics.