Rift in Bihar BJP; rebels chant NaMo

Rift in Bihar BJP; rebels chant NaMo

The simmering dissent within the Bihar BJP showed no signs of diminishing here on Tuesday. 

Senior leaders, supposed to be staunch loyalists of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, virtually raised a banner of revolt against the present leadership in Bihar, which includes former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and state BJP chief Mangal Pandey.

Rebels, who did not attend Modi’s rally in Muzaffarpur on Monday citing “personal” reasons, organised a NaMo tea-party (Chai Pe Charcha) here at Kargil Chowk on Tuesday, where they pledged their support for Narendra Modi, but minced no words in slamming Sushil Kumar Modi and his team.

“Our aim is to make Narendra bhai the prime minister. NaMo se koi shikayat nahi hai. But SuMo se pareshani hai,” said senior BJP legislator Giriraj Singh, in an apparent reference to Sushil Modi. 

Singh’s angst stems from the fact that he had been denied a BJP ticket for Lok Sabha polls even though he had been praising Narendra Modi and deriding Nitish for the last two years.

Singh has the tacit support of other senior leaders, including BJP national vice-president Dr C P Thakur, former ministers Chandramohan Rai and Ashwani Choubey. Though Thakur, who is worried over re-nomination of his son to the state Legislative Council, denied that there was any “rebellion” within the party, he was quite successful in the “show of strength” through the tea party.

“Our message to the high command is simple: The BJP cannot be run by the whims and fancies of one person (Sushil Modi). It has to be collective leadership,” said another “rebel”, Ashwani Choubey, who was vociferous in protesting against the BJP’s alliance with the LJP, due to the latter’s poor impression among voters.

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