Modi-Nitish face-off just a fixed wrestling match: Paswan

Narendra Nitish

Lok Janshakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan on Monday dubbed the face-off between Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar "as a fixed match of wrestling" aimed at deflecting people's attention from core issues.

"Nitish Kumar's reservations on making Modi NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate is nothing but a political stunt. It is like a fixed match of wrestling ('mili kushti') organised to deflect attention of people from core issues like secularism, social justice, development and corruption in Gujarat," Paswan said.

"The reservations of Nitish seem to be a meticulous move aimed at polarising minority votes in Gujarat so that majority Hindu votes could swung in Modi's favour in the forthcoming Assembly polls," the former Union Minister said.

Gujarat election, scheduled to be held in December, would be the new arena for this face-off, Paswan, a former ally of BJP, said.

Modi recently took a dig at Nitish, who apparently disapproves of projecting the BJP stalwart as NDA's Prime Ministerial candidate, saying nobody complains when political parties use Osama bin Laden lookalikes during poll campaigns in Bihar, but have problems if he takes out a rally.

Paswan-led LJP, whose base is mostly confined to JDU-BJP-ruled Bihar, has decided to field candidates in all the 182 Assembly seats, in Gujarat.

"We shall contest elections from all the 182 Assembly seats in the state," the Dalit leader said.

The party shall contest elections in Gujarat on planks of secularism, social justice, development and corruption, said Paswan, a political rival of Nitish.

"The minorities in Gujarat are living under fear. In more than 100 villages of the state, people from Scheduled Castes have been forced to move out," he alleged.

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