New Delhi: The Janata Dal (United) on Thursday cautioned the BJP following defeats in the bypolls, saying the saffron party should make the ruling NDA coalition more "cohesive" and address "concerns" over issues related to farmers and Dalits, as well as the petroleum price rise.
JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi said the biggest challenge for the BJP was in Uttar Pradesh, where the coming together of two formidable regional parties -- the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) -- have trumped the BJP in recent bypolls.
Asked by reporters if the UP results were a win of ganna (sugarcane) over Jinnah, he answered in the affirmative and said thousands of crores are still due to sugarcane farmers.
He, however, rejected suggestions that the Nitish Kumar-led party may dump the NDA after joining it last year and asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led alliance will make a comeback in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
He described Lalu Prasad-led RJD, its former ally, a party of the corrupt and anarchists.
Tyagi downplayed his own party's loss in Jokihat Assembly bypoll in Bihar to the RJD, saying the seat did not
belong to any party but Taslimuddin, a regional satrap who had died last year, and whichever party was represented by his family won from there.
Talking of the NDA, he said, "There is a need for the BJP to make the alliance more cohesive and engage with allies."
The JDU will support the BJP's efforts in this regard, he said.
There are concerns over issues involving Dalits and farmers besides petroleum price rise, he said, adding that the BJP needs to address them.
These may be issues of perception but they needed to be addressed, Tyagi said.