PATNA: Major constituents of the opposition Grand Alliance in Bihar – RJD, Congress and the RLSP — suffered a jolt on Wednesday as more than a dozen leaders from them joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.
They were given primary membership of the party in the presence of Bihar BJP in-charge Bhupendra Yadav and others.
This was part of the first ‘Milan programme’ organised by the BJP since the Assembly polls held late last year. “It is just the beginning. There is a long queue of leaders who are fed up with dynastic politics and are determined to join the BJP,” said Yadav claimed while welcoming the new entrants. Prominent among those who joined the BJP are two-time ex-RJD MP from Sitamarhi and three-time MLA from Pupari Sitaram Yadav, considered close to RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Sitaram Yadav was minister of information and public relations in 2000 under the Rabri Devi government, but was denied RJD ticket in the LS elections in 2019. In 1998 and 2004, he was elected to the LS on RJD ticket after remaining MLA in 1990 and 1995.
“Yadav has strong influence in north Bihar and his induction in the BJP comes at a time when the party is trying to strengthen its base among Muslims and Yadavs, the two strong pillars of support of the RJD,” said Dr R K Verma, a political analyst.Bhupendra Yadav said the Opposition has not only lost the trust of the people, but the trust of their leaders and workers.
“This happens with the parties that thrive under family rule,” he said. “The Congress has not looked beyond a family. The RJD and Congress don’t recognise anyone other than sons and daughters of their parties’ families. The BJP, on the other hand, belongs to all.”