A decade ago, very few people knew Om Prakash Yadav, until he, as an Independent candidate, defeated Siwan strongman Md Shahabuddin’s wife Heena Sahab in the 2009 Lok Sabha election.
Defeating Shahabuddin’s kin in the fiefdom of jailed RJD leader was beyond imagination.
The BJP quickly took Om Prakash in the saffron camp.
As a BJP candidate, he once again defeated Heena in 2014.
In 2019, the same Om Prakash has been denied ticket by the saffron party— on the plea that the seat has been allotted to Nitish’s JD(U).
Om Prakash is seething with rage and so are five other BJP MPs (and their supporters) in Gopalganj, Jhanjharpur, Nawada, Gaya and Valmikinagar.
“Wresting Siwan seat from the RJD was no mean achievement. The BJP should have kept this backdrop in mind before denying me the LS ticket. Or, at least, they should have taken me into confidence,” lamented Om Prakash.
Hari Manjhi, the outgoing BJP MP from Gaya, is equally furious but restrains himself while slamming the party's top leadership.
“I was shocked when informed that I have been denied ticket,” said Hari Manjhi, who defeated former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi in 2014 polls from Gaya.
Indicating a larger game plan of Bihar BJP leaders, he said, “Some people want to weaken Narendra Modi.”
BJP MP from Nawada and Union Minister Giriraj Singh has already made his displeasure public for being denied ticket from Nawada.
He has been asked to contest from Begusarai against CPI’s Kanhaiya Kumar, to which he has shown reluctance.
“I am an ordinary karyakarta (BJP worker) and will remain so,” reiterated Giriraj trying to hide his annoyance.
Equally miffed is BJP MP from Valmikinagar Satish Dubey for being denied ticket but refrained from attacking party leadership.
“Amid such Modi wave, we can’t understand why Valmikinagar seat was allocated to JD(U), when the BJP has a sitting MP here,” said Arjun Soni, one of Dubey's supporters.
Similar is the situation at Gopalganj and Jhanjharpur, where the sitting MPs have been denied tickets. As a consequence, several district-level BJP leaders in these six parliamentary constituencies have submitted their resignations.
Aware of the rebellion, the BJP on Tuesday refrained from releasing its candidate list for Bihar till ruffled feathers were assuaged.
Out of the 40 Lok Sabha seats, the BJP and JD(U) are contesting 17 seats each while leaving the remaining six seats for the LJP.