Alleges that BJP tickets are being sold to criminals in Bihar; party trashes remark, but rivals make capital out of it.
Patna : In potentially damaging remarks for BJP ahead of the high-stakes Bihar polls, its MP R K Singh from Ara on Saturday alleged that party tickets were sold to criminals, a charged dismissed as “baseless” by the party but termed “exceptionally grave” by rivals.
The former Union home secretary dropped the bombshell on the ”state leadership” by alleging that ”criminals” have been given tickets by the BJP for the coming assembly elections. Patna Saheb MP Shatrughan Sinha came in support of R K Singh and said Singh must have spoken on basis of evidence. The BJP leaders right from New Delhi to Patna immediately went into a huddle, pacifying Singh as party president Amit Shah and the union home minister Rajnath Singh who were instrumental in giving party ticket to R K Singh in 2014 Lok Sabha elections contacted him over phone. Party general secretary in-charge Bhupinder Yadav cut short his campaign and returned to Patna to address the media and describe Singh”s charges as an outburst which is common in every election.
Singh, while talking to media persons at his Patna residence, said that money was exchanged between BJP leaders and candidates in exchange for party tickets.
Former deputy chief minister Sushi Kumar Modi has however denied charge of monetary consideration in distribution of tickets. He said due to his pressing engagements he could not respond to the calls of his party MP.
Singh, a 1975 batch IAS officer, was principal secretary in the home department in Bihar during the Lalu and Nitish regime and had arrested L K Advani at Samastipur during his rath yatra to Ayodhya. He said candidates of Arwal, Bakhtiarpur and Tarari were of criminal backgrounds and declared that he would not campaign for the tainted NDA nominees. According to him, Sushil Kumar Modi was not responding to his frantic calls since the last few weeks.
Singh further said that there is no difference between RJD and the BJP. “As Home Secretary of Bihar, I used to give instructions to the SPs and DMs to arrest the criminals who have now been nominated by the NDA for elections. What kind of administration will they give to Bihar if they are elected as MLA”, he said. He also regretted that deserving candidates with clean image have been denied tickets and criminals have been preferred.
Reacting to Singh”s charges, CP Thakur, vice president of BJP, whose son Vivek Thakur has been given a ticket from Brahampur constituency, said that Singh was a fresher in politics and that the candidates were selected after long deliberation and screening. He also disputed the claim of Singh that the survey for selection of candidates was a farce.
In a related development, for the first time in the history of BJP, the RSS has decided to join the election campaign. Rajesh, Prant Prachar Pramukh of south Bihar region, after a meeting of the RSS leaders at party office in Patna said that for the first time RSS leaders would share election meetings with BJP leaders.
Despite Singh’s comments causing discomfiture to BJP, sources in the party said any action against him was unlikely before the crucial polls in Bihar get over.
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