Playing down the exit of the TDP and RLSP from the NDA this year, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said those leaving for their “own political reasons” cannot be stopped and asserted that his party was not facing any pressure from allies ahead of the 2019 polls.
Just months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, BJP has lost two key allies — Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) walked out in March, while Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) shifted loyalties to Opposition’s alliance in Bihar this month.
Asked whether the BJP was under pressure from allies over seat sharing following the assembly polls loss in the three states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Naqvi told PTI that the BJP has always honoured allies and listened to them.
“We honour our allies, listen to what they say and the things that are acceptable, we accept them, and move forward,” the Minority Affairs Minister said.
Murmurs of dissatisfaction have been reported among NDA allies such as Apna Dal (S) and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) recently.
Apna Dal (S) president Ashish Patel had voiced frustration with the saffron party over its “treatment” of smaller NDA allies.
Naqvi asserted that the BJP always believed in taking allies along.
In 2014, the BJP had got a majority on its own, but despite that those allies that had fought the elections with it were made part of the government, Naqvi said.
Asked about the TDP and RLSP quitting the ruling alliance this year, he said the aim is always “to keep allies with us, but due to their own political reasons, if someone wants to leave, you cannot forcefully stop them”.
On whether the BJP was under no pressure from allies ahead of polls, Naqvi said there was no pressure on his party.