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BJP's 'vote katwa' remarks hurt, insult my late father: Chirag Paswan
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) national President Chirag Paswan on Sunday said that he was deeply hurt by the 'vote katwa' remark by BJP leaders in the run-up to the Bihar Assembly elections and was an "insult" to his late father and Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan.
"Vote Katwa remark is not an insult to my party or me. It is an insult to my father who formed the party for the welfare of deprived sections of society. Everyone knew the popularity of Ram Vilasji in Bihar. The party belongs to my father," Chirag Paswan said.
On Friday, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi had allegedly said that the LJP had parted ways with the National Democratic Alliance since it wanted more seats than what the BJP was willing to give. "The LJP is a vote katwa (votes-divider) party and does not want a BJP government to come to power in Bihar." Union Minister Prakash Javadekar too had dubbed the LJP as votes-divider.
"The BJP leaders are repeatedly saying that their party has no connection with the LJP. All this is happening only to please Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United chief Nitish Kumar. In a bid to follow the coalition dharma, the BJP leaders are attacking us. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi may attack us during his election campaign but my feelings for him will not decrease. I always welcome his criticism. He stood by me during adversity when my father was admitted in hospital. PM Modi lives in my heart," the LJP chief said.
"I have no personal enmity with Nitish Kumar. It's his policies I object to. I firmly believe that the next government in Bihar will be formed of the BJP and the LJP," Paswan said.
"I have not used any pictures of PM Modi during campaigning but the LJP is still helping our BJP candidates, except in five seats where our candidates have already started preparing for the electoral fight. The allotment of tickets to them was a political compulsion," the LJP leader said.
"I neither regret for awaling out of the NDA in Bihar nor scared for such a crucial decision just before the Assembly elections," he said.