Dubey sticks to anti-JMM guns

New Delhi, Jan. 9: Nishikant Dubey's "derogatory" utterances against JMM supremo Shibu Soren may have spurred the regional party to withdraw support to the Arjun Munda government, but the BJP MP from Godda is in no mood to backtrack.

The defiant leader today said he was only doing what was in the "interest" of the party and that saving the government was "secondary".

"I am first and foremost concerned about strengthening the party in Santhal Pargana division and I do not do politics to save the government. There was no question of apologising (to the JMM) because I never made any unsavoury remark and I still stand by what I have been saying," Dubey told The Telegraph.

Insisting that BJP was catching up with JMM in the latter's traditional domain, Dubey said that the erstwhile union between two parties had been formed "out of necessity" and there was no common minimum programme before the alliance.

"There was no pre-poll alliance between BJP and JMM. In Santhal Pargana division, there are three Lok Sabha constituencies and 18 Assembly seats. While BJP has two Lok Sabha seats in the region, Shibu Soren represents the third. Unfortunately, we have only two Assembly seats there. However, we ended number two in most of the seats indicating there is a tough fight between the two parties there. As a party worker, I have only been working to strengthen BJP in Santhal Pargana. If this is making them (JMM) feel insecure, I can't do anything," the MP added.

Dubey, who has often hit out at Soren and his party, is not known to be overtly pro-Munda either, as he had also criticised the BJP-led government.

However, he stressed that he never disrespected Guruji, adding that the JMM itself had never shown its supremo great respect.

"In 2009, when Shibu Soren became the chief minister, none of his MLAs including son Hemant vacated any Assembly seat for him. This shows how much they respect him. And they are blaming me of not respecting their revered leader?" asked Dubey, claiming the JMM was a "most unreliable ally and a party of opportunists".

The MP, who arrived in the capital today, maintained that now that the government had fallen and the Assembly was in suspended animation, he was gearing up with BJP workers for elections.

"We are now preparing for elections and my primary concern is to get the members who have parted ways with us back in the party and strengthen its base by adding more workers," he said.

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