Patna: A public meeting that was supposed to be a show of unity for the coalition partners JD(U), BJP and LJP ended in a clash over the Ayodhya issue.
The incident occurred when JD(U) leader Sanjay Verma urged party workers to keep Ram Temple issue out of NDA’s campaign agenda.
Sources claim that Bharatiya Janata Party workers who had assembled during the meeting started raising slogans and banging tables after Mr Verma commented on the issue.
The NDA workers had gathered to discuss the poll strategy for LJP candidate Pashupati Paras who is contesting from Hajipur Lok Sabha seat.
“The matter is being blown unnecessarily. Nothing serious happened during the meeting. NDA is united and we are going to win the maximum number of seats in Bihar,” state minister and LJP candidate from Hajipur Pashupati Paras said.
The incident was also downplayed by the BJP state unit on Saturday. While talking to this newspaper BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said that “NDA is united and we are sure to provide an alternative to this country under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019. As far as issues like 35A, 370 and Ram Temple is concerned these are our core political agenda and we have already clarified our position on these issues”.
The JD(U) and BJP are contesting on 17 seats each and Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP has been given six seats to contest in the Lok Sabha elections.
Differences in NDA have been brewing ever since BJP released its manifesto.
The JD(U) which is a major NDA partner in Bihar has been openly opposing BJP’s stand on issues like Ram Temple and article 370. Some of the JD(U) leaders have also been uncomfortable with BJP president Amit Shah’s recent stand on NRC.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar who is also JD(U)’s national president has repeatedly said that issues like Ram Temple and triple talaq should be resolved through negotiations.
JD(U) sources said that the party has also taken a different line on these issues in its manifesto which is to be released on April 14.
“Despite being NDA partner our party has always maintained its old stand on Ram Temple, special status for Jammu and Kashmir and NRC.
JD(U)’s manifesto is being released on April 14 and our party has taken a different line from the BJP on these issues”, A senior JD(U) leader said in Patna on Saturday....