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Muslims, Dalits will not vote for Paswan: Former LJP leader

Muslims, Dalits will not vote for Paswan: Former LJP leader

After quitting the LJP, the Araria MLA said Muslims would never vote for Paswan as they are always with secular forces.

Even as Lok Janshakti Party supremo Ram Vilas Paswan joined hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, a former leader who quit the party protesting against the decision accused him of furthering dynasty politics and not caring for Dalits and Muslims, who form his core vote bank.

Zakir Hussain Khan, who won from Araria in the 2010 Bihar Assembly elections on a LJP ticket, left the party on February 26. He accused Paswan of hobnobbing with "fascist forces".

"Ram Vilas Paswan always used to talks about secularism, social equality and Dalits but now he is with fascist forces and RSS. My conscious didn't allow me to stay with such people even for a minute," said Zakir Hussain Khan while justifying his decision to leave the party.

"Paswan is a Dalit himself but point out to me even one instance when he has done anything for the community. He is only interested in furthering the political ambitions of his son and brothers. He does not have Dalit workers as his advisors," said Khan.

The Araria MLA said Muslims will never vote for Paswan as they are always with secular forces. "They will vote for the party which can defeat BJP. Dalits are also not with Paswan, only his close family members and those who have their narrow interests in their mind are with him," he claimed.

Refusing to confirm speculations that he was going to join Janata Dal United, Khan said that he will meet his supporters at his residence on Saturday and take the final call.

"I am meeting my supporters at 9 Off Polo Road in Patna. My supporters from Araria are also coming. I will take the final decision after taking their views into account," he added.

Paswan, who had left the NDA in 2002 citing Gujarat riots, entered into an alliance with the BJP on Thursday. His party will contest from seven seats in Bihar. The seats where LJP will put up its candidates are Hajipur, Samastipur, Jamui, Vaishali, Munger, Nalanda and Khagaria.

Paswan himself is likely to contest from Hajipur while his son Chirag will be the candidate from Jamui.
first published:February 28, 2014, 13:32 IST