The BJP on Thursday said that it expected Union minister Upendra Kushwaha to maintain decorum and sanctity of the alliance and cautioned the RLSP chief against joining hands with "corrupt, casteist and family-based" parties like the Congress and the RJD. The BJP's Bihar unit made the remarks in the light of the barrage of attacks launched by Kushwaha at a rally in East Champaran district earlier in the day on the issues of his party not getting its due in seat-sharing among NDA constituents for the Lok Sabha polls and the saffron party raking up the Ayodhya tangle as a poll plank.
"Upendra Kushwaha is a respected minister in the Union government and an NDA ally. So, on moral and ideological grounds, he is expected to maintain decorum and sanctity of the alliance. The BJP has given due space to all its allies, with due respect to their leaders," Bihar BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand said in a statement.
"As for terming Ram Mandir as an unnecessary issue, the BJP has been very clear about its ideological stand. Ram Mandir is an emotional issue for 125 crore Indians and the BJP is committed to building the same at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya," he said.
Anand added that when Kushwaha entered into an alliance with the BJP, the issue of Ram Mandir was still there.
After breaking away from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U) in 2013, Kushwaha went on to float his own outfit and joined the NDA ahead of the Lok Sabha polls the following year. The BJP spokesman also said for the last four-and-a-half years, Kushwaha has always been supporting programmes and policies of the Narendra Modi government.
"We cannot say in what context he is making all these statements, he said.
Anand said he hopes Kushwaha will continue in the NDA where he is presently the minister of state for HRD, and not join the "corrupt, casteist and family-based parties" of Rahul Gandhi and Tejashwi Yadav.
The RJD and the Congress, which together form the opposition Grand Alliance in the state, have been trying to woo the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief, who has been sulking over the diminution of his standing within the NDA ever since Nitish Kumar returned to the BJP-led coalition last year after walking out of the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar.
The RLSP chief has often made public his unhappiness over the seat-sharing issue for the Lok Sabha polls by criticising the leadership of the BJP and the JD(U)
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.
RLSP sources had hinted on Wednesday that the party was likely to sever ties with the NDA government and a formal announcement would be made on Thursday.
(With inputs from PTI)