New Delhi: Union minister and LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan took a dig at the opposition parties over their attempts at unity, saying they should not waste their time, as there is no vacancy for the prime minister's post till 2024.
Briefing reporters following his party's national executive meeting on 29 and 30 April in Dadra and Nagar Haveli, he heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his "pro-Dalit" measures. Paswan also expressed confidence that Modi would remain in charge till 2024.
The LJP national executive also demanded an amendment be made in the Constitution to implement immediate reservation in promotion.
Keeping in view the continued lack of government jobs, the party also demanded the early implementation of reservation in the private sector, Paswan said. The party also adopted a resolution to make one crore new members throughout the country during a membership drive from 15 August to 26 January.
He compared his former colleagues-turned-rivals, who are now in different parties, to an orange fruit which looks whole from the outside but is divided inside. "People like Nitish Kumar (JD-U), Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Lalu Prasad (RJD) can never be one. They should stop wasting their time in looking for a prime ministerial candidate. There is no vacancy," he said.
The next Lok Sabha elections are due in 2019 and the BJP-led NDA is in a buoyant mood following its massive win in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
Paswan raked up corruption allegations against Prasad and his two sons, both ministers in the Nitish Kumar government, and said the JD(U) chief is troubled over this. His party, he said, is also keen on the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill, which mandates 33 percent quota for women in Parliament, with separate reservation of SCs, STs and OBCs within it. "All parties are ready for this," he said.
The LJP also favours simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, and they should be funded by states, he added. Paswan repeated his party's demands, including quota in private jobs and reservation for Dalits, minorities, backward and tribal students in private schools.
He also pithed for starting Indian Judicial Service on the lines of IAS to recruit judges with quota provisions. Lauding Modi for promoting places associated with Dalit icon BR Ambedkar, he said his last speech delivered in the Constituent Assembly be included in school syllabi.
Ambedkar should also be given a Nobel Prize, he said, although the honour is generally not bestowed posthumously. His party has sought free land for landless people for residential purpose and clean water for every citizen, he said.
The LJP resolution demanded that villages with 20 percent or more Dalits be brought under the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gramin Yojna for their fast development.
Moreover, the consumer affairs minister also clarified that he never asked restaurants to fix the portion of foods they give to consumers, but only wanted them to inform diners about the quantity of food they are offering at a fixed price. Consumers have a right to know, he said.
On reservation, he said Modi has insisted that it can never be removed and also demanded 15 percent quota for the poor from general castes.
Updated Date: May 03, 2017 08:15 AM