Amid confusion over seat-sharing among NDA alliance partners in Bihar, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party president Upendra Kushwaha on Friday said his party would contest on more than three seats, the number it had contested in 2014 Lok Sabha poll.“We will contest more than three seats, the number we had contested in last 2014 Lok Sabha polls,” RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha said while addressing journalists in Patna.“Lok Janshakti Party and RLSP too are in the NDA alliance in Bihar… you can well understand why until now final seat-sharing announcement has not been made even after they said that it would be announced in next 2-3 days.” BJP president Amit Shah and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar declared in Delhi recently that both parties would contest on “equal number” of seats out of total 40 Parliamentary seats in Bihar.“My party RLSP had made an alliance with the BJP at the time when even in the BJP there was confusion over Narendra Modi to be declared as PM candidate… we had then said in Bihar that Narendra Modi should be the PM candidate. My alliance is with the BJP, and not with the JD(U). Ever since JD(U) has come in the alliance confusion has increased,” he added.When asked who did he consider bigger leader between Lalu Prasad or Nitish Kumar, Mr. Kushwaha said: “Lalu Prasad Yadav is history as he is not into politics so there should not be any comparison between the two.” Regarding Tejaswi Yadav, Mr. Kushwaha said, Mr. Tejaswi Yadav is “under training”.Mr. Kushwaha said that he will be going to Delhi in next few days and would try to meet BJP chief Amit Shah and Mr. Modi over seat-sharing. Regarding his party wanting a ministerial position under NDA in Bihar, he said, “I do not wish to eat stale food.”He also reiterated that he was hurt over Mr. Kumar addressing him as neech (mean) person in a programme. “Nitish Kumar should withdraw his statement… it has hurt me much,” Mr. Kushwaha said.He announced that RLSP would launch a programme “Shiksha mein sudhar-Jan Jan ka Adhikar (reform in education-everyone’s right) from November 28 in every district headquarter of Bihar.
The regional office of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board has recommended ₹90,23,437.50 in fine on the National Highways Authority of India for violating the rules for dust abatement on construction sites. UPPCB Regional Officer Utsav Sharma told The Hindu that the NHAI had not adopted the dust abatement measures notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. “The fine has been calculated on the basis of the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board for penalising defaulters,” he said. The NHAI, which was penalised last year too, is into expansion of National Highway-9 in Ghaziabad in Gautam Buddh Nagar, and Hapur. “Our teams have been maintaining vigil to identify sources contributing to Particulate Matter 10 and Particulate Matter 2.5 in the region,” Mr. Sharma said. Mr. Sharma said the present Air Quality Index of the region was in the poor category, and with unfavourable weather conditions forecast, things were not expected to improve in the near future. The UPPCB has asked that under-construction materials, handled on-site, be covered and dust-breaking screens be erected wherever necessary. “None of these measures is being adopted on the project site,” he said. It also recommended a fine of ₹50 lakh on two factories in Ghaziabad district for burning plastic in boilers.