NEW DELHI: After apparently stoking speculation about the future of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in the NDA by threatening to throw its weight behind the Dalit agitation over the appointment of AK Goel as the head of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), party MP Chirag Paswan on Monday sought to target the Congress, asking the Opposition party to clarify its stand on the Prevention of atrocities against SC/ST Act.
The junior Paswan also questioned the “silence” of the RJD and BSP on the issue of the appointment of Goel as the NGT chairman.
The junior Paswan demanded that the Congress make its stand clear on the issue of Goel’s appointment as the NGT chief, stating that a number of parties had supported the demand that he should be removed. Incidentally, as a Supreme Court judge, Goel had pronounced the judgement that allegedly diluted the Prevention of atrocities against the SC/ST Act.
Paswan referred to the purported statement of the former Union minister and Congress leader Ashwani Kumar that the demand for the removal of Goel cannot be supported. After Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan expressed his displeasure over the appointment of Goel as NGT chairman, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had supported him on the issue.
“Congress president Rahul Gandhi regularly raises Dalit issues in his speeches. But one of his party leaders has voiced an opinion which is against the interests of Dalits. Therefore, Gandhi should clarify whether the Congress agrees with the opinion of Ashwani Kumar,” said Chirag Paswan, while speaking to reporters in the national capital.The LJP MP also wondered why the RJD and BSP were silent on the issue, which is agitating Dalits across the country.