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Paswan asks Himachal residents to defeat BJP
Onkar Singh in Shimla | February 13, 2003 19:35 IST
Lok Jan Shakti chief Ram Vilas Paswan has called upon the people of Himachal Pradesh to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party in the assembly polls.
At a press conference in Shimla, Paswan said there is no question of joining hands with the 'communal' BJP after the polls.
"The BJP is trying to enhance its communal agenda by telling the people of Himachal Pradesh that there is a threat to the security of the country. The party has failed to curb cross-border terrorism and failed on all other fronts. Now they want to win elections on the plank of security and development. I ask all the secular forces to join hands and defeat the BJP," he said.
He said if the Congress emerges as the single largest party, he would not mind extending support to it.
"The dalits in the state constitute 25 per cent of the total electorate and the OBC's are about 30 per cent. We are making our bid in 30 assembly segments [out of 68] and hopefully we should do well," he said.
Releasing his party's manifesto in Shimla, he said the LJS would press for including the 'right to work' and the 'right to education' in the list of Fundamental Rights.
"We want that every child should have education up to matric and he/she should get uniform, books and one free meal from the school at the government's expense. The BJP is in a hurry to sell the country by giving it the name of divestment. Poor people do not understand that divestment means selling things to private sector and MNC's at throwaway prices. The BJP is like the son who is bent upon squandering his father's earnings," he added.
He also took a dig at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, saying her only concern is to make money.
"She is not bothered if her party is losing its base in Punjab and elsewhere."
More reports from Himachal Pradesh