Want PM Modi Re-Elected, But Won’t Stand Insults: Union Minister

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Upendra Kushwaha wants more than three seats in Bihar for his party (File)

Patna:

Disgruntled BJP ally Upendra Kushwaha, who has set a deadline for the party and JDU to come clean on the seat-sharing agreement for the Lok Sabha elections, has said that he favours Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister again, but he will not tolerate insults.

"I want respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi-ji to be the prime minister again in 2019, but not by tolerating insults," Mr Kushwaha, who is negotiating seats in Bihar for Lok Sabha elections next year as part of the BJP and Nitish Kumar's coalition, said in a tweet.

Mr Kushwaha said in a video on Twitter that the number of seats offered by the BJP was not acceptable to his party. He said he would try to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and express his disagreement on the seat-sharing formula.

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The BJP and Nitish Kumar's JDU have agreed on contesting Lok Sabha polls in Bihar on equal number of seats, which would give the other regional allies fewer seats to fight elections on than they hoped for.

Mr Kushwaha's RLSP, as an ally of the BJP in the NDA coalition, had won three seats out of 40 in Bihar in the 2014 general election.

Mr Kushwaha used lines from Ramdhari Singh Dinkar's book 'Rashmirathi' to emphasise his demand for "justice". "Do nyay agar to jyada do, par isme yadi badha ho, to de do kewal hamara samman, rakho apni dharti tamam" (Give me justice, but if there is any problem in it, then give me the respect that I deserve and keep everything else).

Mr Kushwaha, who is the junior minister for human resource development in the Modi government, wants more than three seats in Bihar for his party for the 2019 general election. He recently gave a deadline to the BJP to clarify their stand till November 30.

The BJP brushed aside the ultimatum given by Mr Kushwaha. "Upendra Kushwaha met me twice (in Delhi) and apprised me of all issues (concerning seat sharing). Talks were held in a cordial atmosphere," Bhupendra Yadav, party's in-charge in Bihar, said.

On Mr Kushwaha's ultimatum to the BJP, Mr Yadav said, "There is no ultimatum."

With inputs from PTI

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