BJP Dalit MP quits ‘divisive’ party
THE BJP suffered twin setbacks Thursday as its Dalit MP Savitribai Phule quit the party, accusing it of practising divisive politics while its ally Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief and Union minister Upendra Kushwaha appeared set to sever the ties by declaring a war on the ruling NDA alliance.
At an open session of the party in the Bihar town Motihari, Kushwaha made a scathing attack on the BJP and quoted from poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar's work ‘Rashmirathi’ the words of Lord Krishna addressed to Duryodhana: “Since gesture of friendship has been spurned, I am announcing the final resolve that henceforth, there would be no more supplication but a war. He, however, stopped short of announcing a breakup with the BJP-led NDA. I have categorically said it is a war. What more do you expect me to say?” he told reporters when asked if he would break his alliance with the BJP. He also charged Nitish Kumar's government in the state with failure on all fronts. Kushwaha has often made public his unhappiness over the seatsharing arrangement for the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP and the JD(U) offered the RLSP just two seats of the total 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. Kushwaha had said that the number of seats the party was offered was not respectable and asked the BJP to do a rethink by November 30.
The BJP is of the view that his departure, if it does happen, from its alliance will be more than compensated by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumarled Janata Dal (United), which had fought against the NDA in 2014 but joined it last year.
In Lucknow, the announcement by Phule of quitting the BJP was on expected lines as she had been attacking the party from several months. However, her Dalit background coupled with his trenchant criticism of the BJP on issues concerning the Scheduled Castes, a community the party has been wooing, may hurt it in a state where a likely alliance of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party threatens to derail its prospect.