NEW DELHI: In a major embarrassment for BJP ahead of the Bihar polls, its MP R K Singh today alleged party tickets were sold to criminals after denying those to sitting MLAs and genuine workers, a charge rubbished by the party as "baseless and unfortunate".
Singh, a former Union Home Secretary, said after criminals were rewarded with tickets by BJP there remained no difference between it and Lalu Prasad, whom the party has been targeting over 'jungle raj'.
"Criminals have been given tickets even before they joined the party. This is injustice to the people of Bihar who have been betrayed. Some people have sold tickets. What is this? How will we get clean administration?
"You have given tickets to criminals. How will you give a clean administration in Bihar. We as residents of Bihar are concerned. What is the difference between you and Lalu Prasad," Singh said in Patna.
Despite the potentially damaging statement by Singh, sources in BJP said the party was unlikely to take any action against the MP from Ara before the state assembly polls get over.
However, responding to Singh's comments, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said tickets were distributed "fairly" after considering all aspects.
"In BJP, wherever there is ticket distribution, it is done fairly and after considering all aspects. As far as Bihar is concerned, the BJP-led NDA will win a comfortable majority.
It has the support of the people of Bihar," he said.
Reacting sharply to the charge, BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said, "It is an unfortunate statement. We reject and condemn such baseless allegations. R K Singh is an honourable MP of the party, but it seems he does not know the party well and it would be better if he atempts to do that."
Another BJP Spokesperson Nalin Kohli described Singh's statement as "unfortunate". "It is his personal view. The central leadership of the party collectively takes decisions as ours is a democratic party. Singh's views do not reflect in any way how the party functions," he said.