In a fresh ally trouble for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the 2019 general elections, Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has threatened to join anti-government protests by Dalit organisation next month if their demands were not met.
The LJP demanded the Centre to remove Justice AK Goel from his post of the National Green Tribunal chief. The party said that the retired judge was part of the Supreme Court bench that ordered the dilution of the SC/ST Atrocities Act.
Earlier in April 2017, the apex court had laid down new guidelines that protect public servants from immediate arrest after a complaint is filed against them under the SC/ST Atrocities Act.
"Our support to the NDA is issue-based. If our demand is not met by August 9, then LJP will join Dalit protesters,” said Chirag Paswan, son of Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, during a press conference.
However, Paswan ruled out speculations of the LJP’s split from the NDA and said that his party will not walk out of the alliance like the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) did.
"We will fight for Dalit rights as part of the government. Our patience is running out, hope the PM will act on our demands," Paswan junior said.
In March 2018, the TDP had walked out of the alliance with the BJP, accusing the party of “deceiving” the people of Andhra Pradesh by not fulfilling the promise of special status for the south Indian state.
Chirag Paswan on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding the removal of Justice Goel as chief of the NGT. In a separate letter, the father-son duo also demanded a bill to restore earlier provisions of the SC/ST Act.