Days after Jayant Chaudhary’s terse “not a coin, won’t flip” response to the BJP’s apparent attempt to woo him, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the Rashtriya Lok Dal chief was a “kid with little knowledge of history”.
He has forgotten how many times his father, late Ajit Singh, changed sides, said Mr Pradhan, who also the BJP’s Uttar Pradesh poll in-charge.
After listening to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Mann Ki Baat‘ radio programme at the JP Auditorium in the Khandari complex of the Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar University, he said the people of Uttar Pradesh knows well how the Yogi Adityanath government has ruled in the past five years.
The BJP dispensation has put the goons behind the bars and has ensured the safety of women, Mr Pradhan told reporters.
Asked about the apparent discontent among the Jat community over the BJP, Mr Pradhan replied, “We visit every community. The state president was taking blessings from the poor elderly by sitting on the ground. The national president of the BJP and the chief minister are also campaigning door to door.” Jats are a deciding factor in almost all the seats in western Uttar Pradesh, a region where the RLD enjoys influence among the community.
Led by former prime minister Charan Singh’s grandson Jayant Chaudhary, the RLD has joined hands with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party this time.
Union Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday reached out to Jat leaders, ahead of the first phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh, and said that Jayant Chaudhary has chosen the “wrong home”.
The BJP’s outreach is significant as there are apprehensions that the over year-long farmers’ agitation against the three agri laws, which have since been repealed, will affect its prospects.
However, the RLD leader gave a terse response. “Invite those +700 farmer families which you have destroyed, not me,” he tweeted in Hindi. “Not a coin, won’t flip,” Mr Chaudhary had said later.
On Sunday, Mr Pradhan said, the RLD president “is a kid”. “He has just entered the field and is not aware of the ground realities. Jayant (Chaudhary) has little knowledge of history. He has forgotten how many times his father changed parties. In which alliance did Jayant win the first time? Kids need to be forgiven,” he said.
About his party’s prospects in the Uttar Pradesh election, Mr Pradhan said, “The BJP works for all and does not care about vote bank. It believes in ‘sabka saath-sabka vikas, sabka vishwas, sabka prayas’. We have served every community and we believe that we will get good results.”