Union minister Upendra Kushwaha asserted that no talks of seat-sharing for 2019 Lok Sabha polls have taken place in Bihar so far.
Patna: Asserting that no talks of seat-sharing for Lok Sabha polls have taken place in Bihar so far, Union minister Upendra Kushwaha on Friday claimed some people in the NDA, who don't wish to see Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister, were circulating "misleading news".
A section of media had recently reported that an arrangement had been made between the BJP and its allies for the 2019 elections. Quoting sources, the reports said the BJP will contest 20 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, while its allies - the Janata Dal (United), the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RSLP) and a splinter group of the RSLP -- will contest on 12, five, two and one seats respectively.
Rubbishing the reports, the RLSP chief said, "No talks of seat sharing have taken place in Bihar. In the news reports that I have come across, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and Ram Vilas Paswan's party (LJP) have also made it clear that the talks are still pending."
In a tweet on Thursday, senior BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, too, rebuffed the news doing rounds about seat-sharing arrangement. "Neither any decision has been taken within the NDA on seat sharing for 2019, nor is there any controversy. We are aiming at winning all 40 seats and this is the common target of all NDA allies," he said.
Kushwaha, who is the Union minister of state for human resource development in the NDA government, said the reports in media were published without any basis. "Everything (published regarding seat sharing) seems to be without any basis. One thing I can tell you with full responsibility that there are people in the NDA, who don't wish to see Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister. They are the ones circulating misleading news," he claimed.
He, however, refrained from taking names even as the media persons sought to know if some of these people who were "spreading canards" were from Bihar. "This is an internal matter and I don't want to discuss it outside (alliance). I have said what I had to," he said.
Asked if the grand alliance, comprising the RJD and the Congress, had offered five seats to the RLSP, Kushwaha said, "We are the ones who believe in making 'kheer' and not 'khayali pulao' (daydreams). I am the one who wants to see Narendra Modi as Prime Minister again."
Sharing his plans for the party, the RSLP chief said he would launch two social and political programmes - "Paigam-e-Kheer" from September 25 and "Dalit Atipichhra Adhikar Sammelan" (Dalit rights meet) in October. "We will start our party's social programme titled 'Paigam-e-Kheer' from Patna on September 25. The programme will be held at village level, where 'kheer' will be prepared and relished by people of all sections of society," he said.
Earlier this week, Kushwaha had stirred up a political cauldron when he said delicious "kheer" can be prepared with milk from the Yadavs and rice from the Kushwahas. He, however, clarified later that it wasn't an overture to the Rashtriya Janata Dal, led by Lalu Prasad and Tejashwi Yadav.
The Yadav community in Bihar is known for rearing cows while the Kushwahas are primarily agriculturists. Iterating his 'kheer recipe' on Friday, Kushwaha said he would source milk from Yaduvansis, rice from the Kushwansis, sugar or jaggery from Brahmrishi, "panchmeva" from Economically Backward Classes, basil from Dalits, dastarkhan from Muslims to prepare it.
The party has also decided to launch "Dalit Atipichhra Adhikar Sammelan" at the district level to take forward the "fight for rights" of the deprived sections, the Union minister said, pitching for adequate representation of all sections of the society in high courts and Supreme Court.