PATNA: After LJP's Chirag Paswan who was ousted from the NDA after contesting independently in the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections, Vikassheel Insaan Party chief Mukesh Sahani could face the same consequences after he opened a front against the BJP in Uttar Pradesh polls.
Targeted by Sahani, BJP leaders like Ajay Nishad, Samrat Chaudhary, and Neeraj Kumar Bablu have said that he is free to leave the NDA in Bihar.
Indicating action against Sahani, BJP MP Nishad, a popular face among the Nishad community in Uttar Pradesh, said: "If Mukesh Sahani is leaving, it would not affect NDA government in Bihar as three MLAs of VIP are with the BJP."
The BJP had given 11 seats to the VIP in the 2020 polls and it won four seats. After the demise of MLA Musafir Paswan, VIP has only 3 MLAs.
Bihar minister Samrat Chaudhary expressed the same sentiments.
"Sahani is independent to go anywhere. If he separates, it would not hurt the NDA. We have given support to Nitish Kumar and we are committed to it. The NDA government will complete its tenure of 5 years. No one can derail it," he said.
Fellow minister Neeraj Kumar Bablu, another cabinet minister of Nitish Kumar government and BJP leader, said: "No one has stopped him from going anywhere. We have not invited him to the NDA. He came to the NDA."
Sahani is testing his luck in Uttar Pradesh polls, having alleged that Nishad abused him a few days ago on the direction of the top BJP leadership. Sahani and Nishad are from the same Mallah community and the BJP does not want him to enter UP and split their votes.
The BJP also threatened Sahani to contest Bochaha by-election, which fell vacant after sitting VIP lawmaker Paswan passed away on November 25 last year.
Sahani, who had himself lost in the 2020 Bihar polls, still became an MLC and then minister, and the BJP knew that the three MLAs of his party are approachable, having lost out on a ministerial berth.
The situation of Sahani is similar to Chirag Paswan who was also vocal against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during the 2020 and the JD-U believes that due to the LJP chief, the vote percentage of JD-U declined, Chirag Paswan paid the penalty with his party splitting into two parts as his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras formed Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party (RLJP) with the support of 5 MPs.