A day after most of its MLAs in Manipur joined the BJP, the JD(U) on Saturday lashed out at its former ally whom it accused of using “dhan bal” (money power) to poach legislators from other parties.
JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan alleged that the BJP did in Manipur what it had “previously attempted in Delhi, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra”.
“Our MLAs in Manipur had defeated BJP candidates at the hustings. Ditto in Arunachal Pradesh where our MLAs were poached while we were still in NDA,” fumed Lalan.
The development comes as an embarrassment for the party which is holding its national executive meeting here and trying to project Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, its de facto leader, for a bigger role.
The Janata Dal (United) party has a large political presence in Bihar. After 17 years of alliance with the BJP in Bihar, the JD(U) broke away from the BJP in protest against the latter decision to nominate Narendra Modi as the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
“Whatever tricks the BJP may play, it will not be able to stop JD(U) from becoming a national party by 2023,” asserted Lalan, who has been associated with Nitish Kumar for nearly four decades.
“The BJP should worry about itself. In 2015 assembly polls, none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed 42 rallies but the party could win only 53 seats in the 243-strong Bihar Vidhan Sabha. They should think of their fate in 2024 when the entire opposition will stand united against them,” he said.
Referring to Modi’s recent allegation that opposition parties were in a huddle to protect the corrupt, the JD(U) chief taunted “what BJP is doing to other parties is ‘sadachar’ but a joint fight against its brazen use of money power is ‘bhrashtachar’. The prime minister has redefined these terms”.
He also bristled at the remark of BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi that after Arunachal and Manipur it was Bihar’s turn to become “JDU-mukt” where the party could be split by its bigger ally RJD of Lalu Prasad.
“Let Sushil Modi sell daydreams to his central leadership. It may help him to come out of political wilderness,” remarked Lalan.
The MLA’s move from JD(U) to BJP in Manipur comes after the sole UD(A) MLA in Arunachal Pradesh also joined the BJP last week. In 2020, six out of the seven JD(U) members had merged with the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh.
Five JD(U) MLAs joined the ruling BJP in Manipur on Friday. The five MLAs are Khumukcham Joykishan Singh, Ngursanglur Sanate, Mohammed Achab Uddin, L M Khaute and Thangjam Arunkumar.
5 @Jduonline MLAs out of 6 JD(U) MLAs from Manipur merging with @BJP4India is not only unconstitutional, but the act also attracts disqualification under the Constitution of India.
There will be a move to High Court to disqualify them.
Save Constitution, Save Democracy. pic.twitter.com/NfCftRzKtQ
— Ningombam Bupenda Meitei (@BupendaMeitei) September 2, 2022
The JD(U) had won six of the 38 constituencies it had contested in the assembly elections held in March.
(With additional inputs)