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JD(U)’s ‘unconditional’ support to BJP now comes with a catch

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NEW DELHI, June 6: BJP ally Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi on Thursday said his party has demanded for a review of the Agnipath scheme and will “pursue” the caste census issue which, he asserted, was a need of the time.
Tyagi said his party’s support to the BJP was “unconditional”.
“There is anger among voters on the (short-term army recruitment) Agniveer scheme. Our party wants those shortcomings to be removed, on which people have objections,” Tyagi told reporters here.
He said the JD(U) is not opposed to the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) but all stakeholders should be consulted on it.
“On the UCC, the chief minister (Nitish Kumar) had written to the Law Commission. We are not against the UCC. But there should be consultation with all the stakeholders, chief ministers, political parties and different sects, and a resolution should be found,” he said.
Asked if his party will push for a caste census, Tyagi said, “No party in the country has denied a caste census. Bihar has shown the way, the prime minister also did not oppose… It is the demand of the time, and we will pursue it.”
On its support to the BJP as a member of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), he said, “There is no pre-condition, there is unconditional support. But it is in our mind and heart that Bihar should be given special status. After bifurcation, the situation Bihar has faced, it cannot be corrected without granting it special status.”
Support of allies like the JD(U) is crucial for the BJP as it could not reach the majority mark on its own in the Lok Sabha election.
With 12 MPs, the JD(U) is the second biggest BJP ally after the Telugu Desam Party’s 16 in the NDA. The backing of allies like the JD(U) and TDP is crucial for the BJP to form the government at the Centre, as the saffron party could not reach the majority mark on its own in the Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP bagged 240 seats, 32 short of an absolute majority. Among its allies, N Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), which won 16 and 12 seats in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, respectively, and other alliance partners, the NDA has 293 seats. (PTI)

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