PATNA: A day after five of the six JD(U) MLAs joined the BJP in Manipur, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday came down heavily on his former ally, questioning the propriety and constitutionality of the “poaching by the saffron party”.
“It is proper? Is it constitutional? Is it in line with established norms? They are doing so everywhere. So I must say that all Opposition parties should unite and fight against BJP together in 2024 Lok Sabha elections,” Nitish told reporters on the sidelines of the first day of the two-day meeting of the party’s national executive and national council.
BJP leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, however, said that Bihar would soon be “JD(U)-RJD free. “Nitish Kumar joined the Mahagathbandhan by insulting people’s mandate,” he remarked.
Bihar BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal claimed that the “Manipur episode would repeat in Bihar soon. “Manipur has become JD(U) free after the merger of its five MLAs. Similarly, a number of leaders and MLAs of JD(U) will leave the party in Bihar,” he said.
Nitish said all the JD(U) MLAs from Manipur had confirmed that they would participate in the meeting scheduled to be held in Patna. “However, what happened there (Manipur) is no more a secret,” he said and added that what the BJP did was not in good taste.
Nitish said when the JD(U) parted ways with the NDA and joined hands with the Mahagathbandhan, all the six MLAs from Manipur came to Patna and met them. They also expressed their solidarity with the party’s decision. “All of them assured us that they were with the JD(U). But they were win over in less than a month,” he said, in an oblique reference to alleged horse-trading in Manipur.
Expressing his displeasure over Manipur development, the Bihar CM said that the people were watching the BJP’s behaviour. “The scene would entirely be different in 2024 Lok Sabha elections if Opposition parties fought unitedly against the saffron party.”
On August 25, the lone JD(U) MLA from Arunachal Pradesh, Tecki Kaso, also joined BJP in presence of J P Nadda and CM Pema Khandu, with which the BJP now has 39 MLAs out of 60 assembly seats. JD(U) sources said that Nitish would leave for New Delhi on September 5 and meet some leaders, including those from the Congress. Though there is no official confirmation about Nitish’s proposed visit, sources said that he would meet “leaders of like-minded parties in Haryana and Rajasthan”.