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Ram Vilas Paswan Says Leaving NDA Unthinkable, Modi Will Remain PM

Paswan said the government’s efforts towards Dalits and minorities should be highlighted.

Published
India
2 min read
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Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan dismissed as "unthinkable" suggestions that his alliance with the BJP is under strain and asserted that Narendra Modi will remain the prime minister after the next Lok Sabha polls, earlier at the end of March.

Paswan, in his recent comments in Bihar, was critical of some BJP leaders' alleged communal statements, and had advised the party to take along all sections of the society, setting off speculation about his future plans.

The NDA is not in any difficulty. I had earlier said that there is no vacancy for the prime minister’s post in 2019. Narendra Modi is and will remain the prime minister. The NDA will remain intact. 
The Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president told reporters.
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He also made light of the talk about a federal front, saying meetings keep happening "but nothing comes out of them", and referred to the failed attempt to unite the 'Janata Parivar' earlier at the end of March.

Asked about speculation on his party's future plans, Paswan said any such suggestion is unthinkable. Party sources said BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, who is also Bihar in-charge, had met Paswan following his recent comments.

The Dalit leader has often switched sides in the past before elections and ended up with the winning combination.
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To a question about controversial statements of some BJP leaders, including a Union minister, in Bihar, he said the government had done a lot for Dalits and minorities, and its efforts should be directed at highlighting them.

While Paswan was recently critical of a section of BJP leaders from Bihar, he added that the party has leaders like Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, Nand Kishore Yadav and Shahnawaz Hussain in the state and they cannot be considered "communal".

He also mocked the Congress for its attack on the BJP following the reverses in recent bypolls, saying the opposition party was celebrating the loss of its deposit in seats like Gorakhpur and Phulpur.

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Paswan Led Delegation to Discuss SC/ST Act

After the Supreme Court diluted the stringent provisions of the SC/ST Act on 20 March, Paswan claimed that schedule castes and tribes were “angry” over the apex court’s verdict on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and that the Centre “should file a review petition at the earliest”.

Subsequently, a delegation of NDA's SC and ST MPs, led by the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief and Union Social Justice Minister Thawarchand Gehlot, met PM Modi to discuss the apex court’s judgement.

It was a good and elaborate discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Supreme Court judgement on the SC/ST atrocities act. Modi ji listened to us and heard our concerns. 
Paswan told reporters after the meeting.

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