Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday expressed outrage after five of the six JD(U) MLAs in Manipur joined the BJP, while the party chief accused the former ally of using money power to poach legislators from other parties.
Talking to reporters at the party office here, where a two-day national conclave is underway, Kumar who is the de facto chief of the JD(U) questioned the propriety and constitutionality of the alleged poaching by the BJP.
“Is it proper? Is it constitutional? Is it in line with established norms? They are doing so everywhere. Hence all parties must unite in 2024 for a positive mandate,” said Kumar who is being pitched for a “national” role by his party.
“When we were in NDA, they (BJP) gave our MLAs nothing. Now they have been won over,” said Kumar, in what appeared to be a reference to horse-trading.
The Manipur JD(U) MLAs switched sides around a month after Nitish Kumar ended his alliance with the BJP and formed a fresh government in Bihar with Mahagathbandhan comprising RJD, Congress, HAM and Left parties.
Kumar said the party’s Manipur MLAs had confirmed their presence at the meeting and had earlier backed JD(U)’s decision to quit the NDA.
Asked about reports that he will be visiting Delhi in the next few days to meet top leaders and explore the prospects of opposition unity, Kumar replied in the affirmative but did not divulge details.
JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan, who is also the Lok Sabha MP representing Munger Constituency of Bihar, reacted sharply on twitter.
आप इसी तरह अपने नेतृत्व को जद (यू.) को खत्म करने का दिवास्वप्न दिखाते रहिए। आपको कुछ न कुछ जरूर मिल जाएगा। आपको मेरी शुभकामनाएं। pic.twitter.com/1yVYa8NotF
— Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh (@LalanSingh_1) September 3, 2022
In a statement on Friday, Manipur assembly Secretary K Meghajit Singh said that the Speaker accepted the merger of five JD(U) MLAs with the BJP, the ruling party of the Northeastern state.
The development comes as an embarrassment for the party which is holding its national executive meeting here and trying to project the Bihar chief minister for a bigger role in national politics.
Also read: BJP may play tricks, JD(U) on track to become national party: Lalan on Manipur defections