Six NDA MPs in touch with us: Congress

Six NDA MPs in touch with us: Congress

With around 14 months left before the Election Commission's notification for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the first sign of political churning has begun in Bihar.

A day after former minister and Brishen Patel, president of the state unit of Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) and an NDA constituent, met Lalu Prasad in Ranchi, the Congress on Friday claimed that at least six NDA MPs were in touch with the party.

This disclosure was made by senior Congress leader Prem Chandra Mishra, who is also the AICC spokesperson, here. Though he refrained from taking names, sources within the Congress told DH that of the six disgruntled NDA MPs, four were from the BJP, while one each from the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP).

Sources said these MPs have been sending feelers to the Congress as well as to RJD and may contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as the UPA nominees.

"The BJP Lok Sabha members - actor Shatrughan Sinha from Patna Sahib, former cricketer Kirti Azad from Darbhanga, Bhola Singh from Begusarai and Chhedi Paswan from Sasara - are said to be unhappy with the party leadership and may switch sides for greener pastures before the 2019 polls," said a senior Congress leader.

His statement comes close on the heels of Shatrughan organising a "chura-dahi" party for his supporters in Patna in which not a single BJP MP or MLA participated fearing reprimand from the party high command. Shatrughan, along with former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, has been critical of the Modi government. And so has been Kirti Azad and Bhola Singh.

"Of the other two non-BJP MPs from the NDA camp, the LJP MP from Khagaria, Choudhary Mehboob Ali Kaisar, may dump the NDA bandwagon as he is feeling suffocated in the saffron camp," said the Congress source.

Kaisar was president of the Bihar Congress before crossing over the fence. His "ghar wapsi" to the Congress is on the cards.

Another MP who could switch sides is RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, but the junior union minister is keeping his cards close to his chest so as to drive a hard bargain with either camp.

The NDA has 31 MPs from Bihar, including 22 from the BJP, six from the LJP and three from the RLSP.

"Today, the BJP is in disarray. It should try to keep its house in order instead of predicting that many Congressmen may switch over to the saffron brigade," Prem Chandra Mishra said on Friday.

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