Paswan slams Nitish for playing caste politics

Patna: LJP supremo Ramvilas Paswan on Wednesday slammed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for, what he termed, playing caste politics for electoral benefits and said that Kumar had no moral right to question others if they speak for welfare of any community.

"Kumar has been guilty of segregation of social groups into castes and sought to bring anomisity among them by giving special incentives to a particular caste or group of castes and deprived the same to other caste groups with identical socio-economic background," Paswan said at a function hosted by his party to celebrate 88th birth anniversary of former Chief Minister Karpuri Thakur.

"A person (Nitish) who has deliberately divided the society in different caste groups now appeals to the people to think for collective development by shedding caste identity," Paswan said in a dig at his bitter arch-rival.

Citing the example of segregation of some castes among dalits into mahadalits by the NDA government during its first term and constitution of a mahadalit commission to cater to their aspirations, the LJP President said the Chief Minister has no moral right to flay others if they spoke for welfare of a specific community.

Paswan said that Kumar's latest statement advocating for a separate quota for the most backward castes (MBCs) among the OBCs under 27 per cent reservation was yet another example of the latter's 'inconsistent' stand on caste-based politics.

If Kumar was so sincere about amelioration of the MBCs, then he should have himself led by example and given seven berths to them as against three in the ministry as their population stood at 35 per cent in Bihar, he said.

The LJP supremo took to task the chief minister for accusing the Congress with playing a 'divide and rule' policy by proposing 4.5 per cent reservation for the Muslims under the OBC quota of 27 per cent and said that the latter should introspect as to what he has done in Bihar.

Paswan also sought to drive wedge among the NDA constituents in Bihar by saying that the BJP was talking about 'Narendra Modi Model of Development in Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, while the JD(U) was propagating 'Nitish model' to woo the electorate.

The LJP leader said that the NDA government has not taken action against those cops involved in Forbesganj police firing in Bihar's Araria district in June last year in which four persons from the minority community were killed.