Denied BJP ticket, some leaders head to LJP, spark ‘distrust’ talk in JD(U)

Denied BJP ticket, some leaders head to LJP, spark ‘distrust’ talk in JD(U)

This comes whilst the BJP has sent out a robust message that Nitish Kumar is that the leader of NDA within the state and any BJP leader defying his leadership would be sternly addressed.

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Disquiet seems to be brewing within the JD(U) camp after several BJP candidate hopefuls seem set to contest for former NDA ally Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) after being denied tickets by the saffron party.

This comes whilst the BJP has sent out a robust message that Nitish Kumar is that the leader of NDA within the state and any BJP leader defying his leadership would be sternly addressed.

The big names joining the Chirag Paswan-led party over the last few days are senior BJP leaders Rajendra Singh, Rameshwar Chourasia, and Usha Vidyarthi. The three are set to contest from Dinara, Sasaram, and Paliganj constituencies, respectively, for LJP.

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It is learned that the BJP’s top leaders did not dissuade the three from contesting as LJP nominees against JD(U) candidates.

It is learned that a minimum of a dozen BJP leaders has approached the LJP for tickets for Assembly segments getting to the polls within the second and third phases — on November 3 and seven, respectively. Sources in LJP claimed some JD(U) rebels also are seeking tickets from the party.

While Singh filed his nomination on Wednesday from Dinara, Chourasia and Vidyarthi are likely to file their nominations on Thursday.

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Vidyarthi, a former MLA, is about to contest from Paliganj against JD(U)’s Jayvardhan Yadav, grandson of former MP Ramlakhan Singh Yadav.

Singh, who has an RSS background, was being considered BJP’s CM candidate the last time before he lost to JD(U)’s Jay Kumar Singh from Dinara.

Chourasia, a former MLA from Nokha, was known to be a staunch supporter of PM Narendra Modi. After joining LJP, he said, “It is sin to vote for JD(U).”

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Sources said Singh and Chourasia had almost agreed to not contest as LJP nominees after calls from a top BJP leader but later agreed to file nomination after a call from Chirag.

A JD(U) leader said, “The onus is on BJP to stay explaining to people throughout the election that Nitish Kumar is that the NDA leader and LJP isn’t BJP’s dummy. Distrust is a fast build-up among our workers. If BJP workers are found helping the LJP or maybe becoming passive, our workers would also become passive towards helping BJP candidates in other constituencies.”

Asked whether BJP is attempting to harm JD(U)’s prospects, the JD(U) leader said, “BJP would never want NDA to lose power in Bihar. it’s to send a stern message to its workers — maybe joint rallies by senior NDA leaders could clear the confusion.”

The JD(U) leader maintained that BJP “needs Nitish Kumar more” than he needs the saffron party.

BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said, “There is not any confusion after our top leaders reiterated that Nitish Kumar would be the NDA CM candidate, regardless of the seat position of NDA constituents.”

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