Patna: With BJP on the backfoot over beef controversy and the writers' protest against “rising intolerance”, its chief Amit Shah today said BJP cannot be blamed for incidents which occurred in states ruled by other parties.
Addressing a press conference in Bihar for the first time since Assembly elections began, he also said BJP supports the present reservation policy as he sought to clear the air over RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks on quota which have been seized by RJD chief Lalu Prasad to consolidate backward caste votes.
A day after he ticked off a number of party leaders, including Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, MP Sakshi Maharaj and MLA Sangeet Som, over their controversial comments, Shah today said the parties in power in UP and Karnataka were answerable for the incidents cited by protesting writers.
The two incidents, Dadri lynching and murder of noted Kannada writer and rationalist M M Kalburgi, happened in Samajwadi Party-ruled UP and Congress-ruled Karnataka, he noted, adding “law and order is a state issue. You all know that. We have nothing to do with it”.
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The protest by writers was primarily driven by these two incidents, he insisted.
With numerically strong backward groups seen to be supporting the grand alliance, he reached out to extremely backward castes and scheduled castes around the NDA, saying they “dread” the return of a government which will be “remote-controlled” by RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
He also took on journalists who repeatedly asked him questions over Bhagwat's comments and recent rows over Dadri lynching and beef, saying they should declare what is their agenda before that ask about BJP's agenda.
“You are not asking me any question about Bihar or Nitish Kumar's government....Before asking about BJP's agenda, you should tell us about your agenda,” Shah retorted.
Shah said the BJP-led NDA will 32-34 seats in the first phase of polling and 22-24 in second phase out of the total 81 seats that have gone to polls so far.
He also rejected reports that BJP had cancelled some rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi because it wanted to pull him out of campaign limelight due to its poor show in the first two phases, as alleged by the rival grand alliance leaders, and asserted that he will address as many rallies as earlier planned.
Modi is set to address 13 more rallies in the coming days.