Patna: Just a month after the Janata Dal (United) broke its ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party, cracks are visible within the Bihar unit of the BJP. Four BJP MLAs, of whom one has been suspended, have revolted against former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi alleging about his autocratic ways. Hit by the prospects of its MLAs crossing over to the JD(U), the BJP is alleging that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is behind the revolt.
"MLA Amarnath Gami has been suspended for six years. Nitish Kumar is behind this," BJP spokesperson Vinod Narayan Jha alleged.
The JD(U), however, has refuted the allegation. "As far as JD(U) is concerned, we have nothing to do with BJP," JD(U) General Secretary and spokesperson Dr Ajay Alok said.
Many state BJP members, mainly in the Mithilanchal region of north Bihar, are likely to join the JD(U), sources said on Sunday.
Amarnath Gami, BJP MLA from Hayaghat in Darbhanga district, had accused Sushil Kumar Modi of monopolising party affairs and promoting sycophants and neglecting genuine workers like him. "Sushil Kumar Modi has hijacked the party. He does not want party cardres to progress and therefore he suppresses them. That's why I am against him," he had said.
While Gami has been suspended, sources said the party is considering action against other 'rebel' leaders - Vijay Mishra, Shashi Hazari and Rana Ganeshwar - too.
In a press release, state BJP Vice President Sanjay Mayukh said that state party president Mangal Pandey suspended Gami for anti-party activities.
Gami described his suspension without any showcause notice being served as 'undemocratic' and an example of Sushil Modi's monopoly over the party. Pandey dismissed Gami's allegations and justified his suspension.
Hitting out at the JD(U), Pandey said, "Our MLAs are being lured away. They are being offered ministership and their relatives are being promised seats in the legislative council". He accused Nitish of trying to shore up his numbers by wooing BJP legislators. "The day the Chief Minister expands his Council of Ministers, there will be a split in JD(U). So, he is trying to increase his numbers in the assembly".
After splitting from the BJP in June following the appointment of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as chief of the party's election campaign committee, the Nitish Kumar government had comfortably won a vote of confidence in the 243-member Bihar Assembly with the Congress backing it.
A total of 126 votes, including four of Congress and one of CPI, were cast in favour of the confidence motion while 24, including 22 of Lalu Prasad-led RJD, voted against the motion as BJP members staged a walkout before the vote.
(With additional information from PTI)