Oppn convinced people on quota and other issues

Oppn convinced people on quota and other issuesNEW DELHI: Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said the opposition parties in Bihar were successful in convincing people that reservation will go and minorities won’t be safe if NDA came to power as he sought to decode the NDA debacle in the high-stake poll.

Besides the two controversial issues, the decision of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to shift a number of castes from Other Backward Classes (OBCs) to Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs) and from EBCs to SCs/STs also led to consolidation of votes in favor of the grand alliance, the LJP chief said addressing his first press conference here after the Bihar drubbing.

Replying to a question about Bhagwat’s remarks on quota review, Paswan said,”I do not think that this was the only issue. But this is true that the grand alliance leaders were to a larger extent successful in misleading people with the help of that statement. That became a major issue. They were able to convince people that if NDA comes to power, reservation will be done away with.

“We were not successful in convincing the voters from SCs and OBCs that it is not so, though all of us including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah clearly said that there was no plan to undo reservation system.”

At the same time, he hastened to add that he was not in a position to say in what context, Bhagwat made the remarks or whether he was saying this in response to Hardik Patel’s stir for reservation for Patels in Gujarat.

Besides, he also reflected the discomfiture in NDA over lynching in Dadri on beef issue and subsequent row surrounding it.

“The incident of Dadri was a law and order problem and the blame for it should have gone Samajwadi Party, which rules Uttar Pradesh. It should have been treated as an issue concerning Mulayam Singh Yadav. Latching on to this incident, the opposition was also successful in convincing minorities in Bihar that they will not be safe if NDA came to power,” Paswan said.

The Union Minister, however, stoutly defended the role of the Prime Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah. He hailed Modi for the gathering in his rallies and his campaign and the strategy of Shah, asserting that defeat in any election is a collective responsibility.

Paswan also claimed the grand alliance government led by Nitish Kumar will not complete its full term and dismissed contentions that Bihar polls would have any impact on 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

“This is flood water. The flood water does not remain in its place after six months. Much water will flow down the Ganges by 2019,” the LJP chief said.–PTI

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