Persuasions from BJP national president JP Nadda to leaders not to leave party failed on Wednesday, and over 5 senior leaders shifted loyalty and joined Chirag Paswan-headed LJP. They were agitated over the BJP’s allocation of the constituencies to the JD-U in the seat-sharing arrangement. Interestingly, the JD-U denied tickets to 11 of its sitting MLAs while accommodating the turncoats.
Earlier in the morning, Nadda telephoned Rameshwar Chaurasiya, a former MLA from Nokha and member of the national executive and persuaded him against leaving the party, but in vain. He announced his decision to contest the election on the LJP symbol. Chaurasiya was secretary in-charge for UP and looked after Banaras, the parliamentary constituency of PM Modi.
Another senior BJP leader Usha Vidyarthi (in pic) joined LJP in Delhi on Wednesday. Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis warned the leaders in the evening with expulsions. He said: “They will be persuaded not to leave us, but if they insist, they will face expulsion.”
As LJP announced to contest the Bihar assembly poll against the BJP’s ally JD-U, several senior saffron party leaders are lining up to join the Chirag Paswan-led outfit seeking poll tickets. Several BJP leaders, including 2 sitting MLAs, joined LJP on Wednesday. They are likely to contest election on the LJP symbol from Dinara, Sasaram, Paliganj, Jhajha and Govindganj. All the seats have gone to JD-U under the seat-sharing arrangement with BJP.
Chaurasiya ignored the Fadnavis warning, saying he would be contesting poll from Nokha, his traditional seat. JD-U has given this seat to industries minister Jaikumar Singh. Vidyarthi, a BJP leader, was the member of Bihar State Women Commision. She quit the panel and BJP before joining LJP.
Vidyarthi told FPJ, she would file the nomination from the Paliganj constituency on Thursday. It comes a day after senior BJP leader Rajendra Singh joined LJP. Singh is a veteran BJP leader and was associated with RSS for a long time. He was considered a CM face of BJP in 2015. RSS leaders at Vijay Niketan in Patna were upset over tickets’ denial to Singh and Chaurasiya, both RSS veterans.
Meanwhile, the I-T dept kicked off raids on a person in the business of mining and hotel industry as also on a chairman of a large co-op bank. It claimed seizure of unexplained Rs1.25 crore in cash and FDs worth Rs6 crore placed under prohibitory orders. The dept did not reveal the identity of two, except they were raided on Tuesday in Patna and Sasaram in Bihar and Varanasi, UP. (Inputs from Delhi Bureau)
Rebels File Papers
-- Sitting BJP MLA Rabindra Yadav, who was denied renomination quit BJP, joined LJP and filed papers from Jhajha.
-- 5-term MLA from Sasaram & another RSS stalwart Jawahar Prasad was, too, denied ticket by BJP. He opted LJP.
-- Independent MLA Anant Singh, who is lodged in Beur jail, filed his papers as an RJD candidate. His wife also filed her’s.
-- Shooter Shreyasi Singh filed her papers from Jamui as a BJP candidate.
-- In Gaya, ex-CM Jeetan Ram Manjhi filed his nomination from Imamganj (SC) as HAM candidate supported by NDA.
-- RJD has fielded ex-speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary against Manjhi, whose son is a candidate from Makhdumpur, and his mother-in-law is contesting from Sherghati.
-- Babita Phogat quits as Hry sports dy dir to devote full time to politics.
JD-U releases list sans ‘Singham’
When state JD-U president Bashistha Narain Singh released the list of 115 candidates on Wednesday, name of former DGP Gupteshwar Pandey, aka ‘Singham’, was missing. His name was not found even on the list released by state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal.
He had preferred two constituencies -- Buxar and Shahpur in his home district. He had started preparations too and claimed thousands of his followers had visited him to persuade him to contest the election. Pandey on Wednesday said he was waiting for the call.
The former DGP may have to wait for the announcement of the candidate for the Lok Sabha byelection from Valmikinagar.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, the BJP formally admitted Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) into its fold and gave it 11 of the 121 seats allotted under the seat-sharing arrangement in the NDA.
VIP president Mukesh Shani said he joined BJP without any condition. Maharashtra former CM Devendra Fadnavis, who is the election in-charge of BJP in Bihar, welcomed him and hoped extremely backward caste voters would ensure the NDA succeeds. Sahni is from the fishermen community.
Bihar’s Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi warned LJP again, and said if its candidates used photos of PM Modi in its campaign, police action would be taken.