With the Narendra Modi government fighting the perception of being anti-Dalit, leaving the BJP vulnerable, key NDA ally from Bihar Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), headed by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, is confident of getting more seats to contest in Bihar during the 2019 Lok Sabha poll. The LJP is also lobbying for seats in Uttar Pradesh. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who heads the Janata Dal(U) and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, have staked claim for a fair share of the 40 seats. The BJP holds 22 seats, LJP has six and JD(U) four. Mr. Kushwaha’s party has the lone seat that he himself represents. The BJP has indicated that it is not willing to fight the poll on fewer than 20 seats. The remaining 20 has to be shared among the three allies. “The government is not in a position to discount us if it wants to ensure that its pro-Dalit credentials are not questioned. We contested seven seats in the last election and lost only one, that too by a very small margin. So there is no question of us accepting fewer than seven,” a top LJP leader said.The party said that if its services are to be utilised in Uttar Pradesh, then it should be rewarded. “There is a huge population of the Passi caste in eastern Uttar Pradesh and also in Rae Bareli and Amethi. It is obvious that the BJP would want LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag to be involved in campaigning. The BJP will do well to at least give us three or four seats in the State,” the leader added.Mr. Paswan has been maintaining a studied silence. “We have had no discussions on seats. It will be done at the due time,” th Minister told The Hindu.
The Asian Football Confederation has launched an investigation into the throwing of objects, including a barrage of sandals, at Qatar players during Tuesday’s Asian Cup semi-final against United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi.Three Qatar players were showered with footwear and drinks bottles thrown by a hostile crowd while celebrating goals in the 4-0 thrashing of hosts UAE, which secured a place in the final against Japan.”The AFC is conducting a thorough investigation into events at the Asian Cup UAE 2019 semi-final between the United Arab Emirates and Qatar at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi,” an AFC spokesman said on Wednesday.”Once that investigation has been completed the AFC will decide on the appropriate next steps.”Throwing a shoe at someone is considered a major insult in the Arab world, where it is rude to sit with the sole of a shoe pointing at another person.The incidents followed the booing of the visitors’ national anthem and were an embarrassment for the host nation, which with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain launched a diplomatic and trade boycott of Qatar in 2017.The four nations accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, which the Gulf emirate — host nation for the 2022 World Cup — denies.With no Qatar fans travelling to the match because of the boycott, local sports officials had ensured a full house for the fixture by giving away thousands of free tickets to Emiratis.Neither the UAE’s General Sport Authority nor the local organising committee responded to requests for comment on Tuesday.advertisementAlso Watch: