Shahid Siddiqui quits RLD after party joins BJP, flags 'political compulsions' of Jayant Chaudhury

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Rashtriya Lok Dal national vice president Shahid Siddiqui on Monday announced that he has resigned from the party’s primary membership and post following RLD chief Jayant Chaudhary’s decision to join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Taking to microblogging platform X (formerly known as Twitter) Siddiqui posted in Hindi, “Yesterday I sent my resignation from the membership of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and the post of national vice president to national president Jayant Singh. Today, when India’s Constitution and democratic structure are under threat, remaining silent is a sin.”

“I am grateful to Jayant ji but I am forced to distance myself from the RLD with a heavy heart. India’s unity, integrity, development and brotherhood are dear to all. It is the responsibility and duty of every citizen to save it,” the former RLD vice president said.

In another post, Siddiqui said he respect RLD and Chaudhary Charan Singh, and he didn’t want to resign immediately. But the way democracy is being attacked in the country; the way the opposition is being targeted and leaders are being arrested, he felt this isn’t in the favour of the society. Therefore, he resigned.

In another post on X, Siddiqui said he resigned from the party as he cannot “silently watch undermining of all the institutions which have united and made India one of the great nations of the world.”

Yesterday I resigned from the position of National Vice President of RLD & its membership. Me and my family stood up against Indira’s Emergency & today can’t silently watch undermining of all the institutions which have united & made India one of the great nations of the world. My regards & best wishes to @jayantrld & other colleagues in the party,” he said.

Siddiqui wrote a separate post for Jayant Chaudhary and hailed his “commitment to secularism and constitutional values”.

“Respected Jayantji, we have worked together for 6 long years and have respect for each other. I, for one, look upon you more as a younger brother than a colleague. We have stood shoulder to shoulder on significant issues and at creating an atmosphere of brotherhood and respect among different communities. No one can doubt your commitment to secularism and the Constitutional values we both cherish. From the time of your late grandfather, Bharat Ratna Choudhary Charan Singhji, your late father Ajit Singhji, and yourself–all of you, as indeed the party you created have stood for these values,” Siddiqui said.

He further said the RLD becoming a part of the NDA puts him into a piquant situation.

“I have struggled long and hard in my mind and heart but find myself unable to be associated with an alliance headed by the BJP. I am aware of your political compulsions and am not in a position to advise you otherwise. But speaking for myself I am constrained to withdraw myself from this ongoing campaign, as indeed from the RLD,” the former RLD leader said.

Recently, Jayant Chaudhary joined the NDA after the centre conferred his late grandfather and former prime minister Chaudhary Charan Singh with the Bharat Ratna.

The saffron party which eyes Western UP with optimism, to achieve its ambitious target of 370 seats on its own, wants to consolidate its base among the Jats, which are the RLD’s core base, and place it ahead in at least seven seats in the region.

The community has significant influence in a dozen Lok Sabha and around 40 Assembly seats in West UP. They are estimated to make up between 10 and 15 per cent of the population in some 15 districts, but are socially dominant, vocal, and have the capacity to build a political atmosphere.

In 2014, the BJP secured 24 out of 27 seats in the region, which dwindled to 19 in 2019, with all eight seats going to the SP-BSP combined.

 

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Published: 01 Apr 2024, 04:39 PM IST

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