NEW DELHI: Two days after he was expelled, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) leader Akhilesh Katiyar today alleged that the action against him was taken under pressure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah for supporting Hardik Patel's stir for reservation.
RLSP, an NDA ally, had expelled its national general secretary Katiyar on Wednesday, alleging that he had indulged in "corrupt practices" in raising funds for the upcoming Bihar polls.
Katiyar slammed National Chief General Secretary of RLSP, Shivraj Singh, saying that the reason cited for expulsion amounted to "character assassination" and was "undemocratic and vicious".
Katiyar, a Kurmi leader, who hails from Uttar Pradesh had organised Hardik Patel's event at the Gujjar Bhawan in Delhi on Sunday and had also participated in Hardik's Gujarat agitation for over a month.
In Delhi, he had received Hardik at the airport, accompanied him to his press conference and later shared the stage with him at the meeting at Gujjar Bhawan.
Addressing a press conference here, Katiyar said he was told by party chief and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha that there was "pressure" from the Prime Minister and hence he should stop supporting Hardik's agitation.
Narrating the sequence of events, Katiyar claimed theproblem started after he organised the event in Delhi afterwhich Shivraj Singh called him and told that the BJP chief Shah is unhappy about his activities and has sent a file about his work in support of Hardik.
"I was told if I did not stop supporting Hardik, it will have consequences," he said.
Leaders of Uttar Pradesh Unit of RLSP including the general secretary of its Youth Wingh Anoop Patel said if the expulsion was not taken back in two days, the entire state unit will quit the RLSP.
Akhilesh Katiyar, however, said that he has left the RLSP for good and has no plans to come back to the party fold.
Rubbishing the charge of "collecting funds for Bihar polls" in an unauthorised manner, he said he was being expelled for "exposing" the Gujarat model of BJP as the allegation of the party does not hold any water.
Anoop Patel said that Katiyar's jurisdiction was Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and not Bihar.
"I also talked to Kushwaha ji after the expulsion letter. He said that the party expelled me because I went against the party line and not because of any corrupt practices. He also promised that another letter citing this as the reason of my expulsion will be issued to me.
"But it did not come. It seems there was pressure on them not only to expel but also disrepute me. Earlier also, when Kushwaha ji asked me not to continue with my support to Hardik, he had no answers when I told him that I was only following his commitment to fight for social justice," he said.
Replying to questions Patel said that there is no plan of Hardik to go to poll-bound Bihar and the focus is currently on Gujarat.