Worried over the rise in number of rebels in its Bihar unit, the BJP on Oct 12 expelled nine senior leaders of the party for six years. Those shown the door include Rajendra Singh, who has about four decade long association with the RSS and was privately projected as the chief ministerial candidate of the NDA in 2015 Assembly election. In the last Assembly poll the Janata Dal United was a constituent of the opposition Grand Alliance.
Apart from Singh those sacked are big names of the state BJP such as Rameshwar Chaurasia, Usha Vidyarthi, Ravindra Yadav, Indu Kashyap, Smita Singh, Anil Kumar, Ajay Pratap and Mrinal Shekhar. The BJP action followed after these leaders filed their nominations against the official NDA candidates.
Most of them got tickets of the Lok Janshakti Party and others threw their hats in the ring as independent candidates. According to the national media in charge of the party, Sanjay Mayukh, this drastic action has been taken by the state unit president Sanjay Jaiswal. The Janata Dal United immediately welcomed the BJP crackdown on rebels as most of these BJP leaders are contesting against the nominees of Nitish Kumar’s party.
Those who hailed the decision include the water resources minister Sanjay Jha and JDU’s leader in Rajya Sabha, R C P Singh. They said that this move will clear the confusion and help NDA in fighting the election as a united force. However, the expelled leaders poohpoohed the saffron party’s action by saying that they have, by contesting as the LJP candidates and as independents already dissociated from the party which they nursed for so many years.
Political observers are of the view that this open revolt by top Bihar BJP leaders has certainly dented the image of the party and would send a wrong message to the voters. The opposition Grand Alliance would exploit this situation.