The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday expelled the rebels who quit the party to join the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and made it official that Chirag Paswan's party is not a constituent of the NDA in Bihar. Senior BJP leader and outgoing deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said that the NDA comprises four political parties in the state -- the BJP, the JD(U), former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM, and the VIP of Mukesh Sahni.
Sushil Modi had last week warned the rebels to 'come back to the fold or be prepared to face expulsion'. As many as nine BJP leaders have been expelled for indulging in anti-party activities. The expelled leaders include Indu Kashyap, Anil Kumar, Mrinal Shekhar, Ajay Pratap, Rajendra Singh, Rameshwar Chaurasia, Usha Vidyarthi, Ravindra Yadav, and Shweta Singh. Three of them have joined the LJP -- Rajendra Singh, Rameshwar Chaurasia, and Usha Vidyarthi. The LJP has given them tickets to contest the elections.
पार्टी विरोधी गतिविधियों के कारण बिहार भाजपा से इन नेताओं को 6 वर्ष के लिए निष्कासित कर दिया गया है। pic.twitter.com/LZWwPjK0GW— BJP Bihar (@BJP4Bihar) October 12, 2020
This is the first time when a senior BJP leader officially declared that the LJP is not a constituent of the NDA. Sushil had so far refrained from commenting on the LJP's exit from the alliance but warned Chirag Paswan against using Prime Minister Narendra Modi's images during the poll campaign. "If we get a majority, then only Nitish Kumar will be Chief Minister. There should be no confusion on that front," the deputy CM said.
According to reports, Nitish Kumar was reportedly upset by the BJP's refusal to take action against Chirag who had been vocal against the JD(U) for the past few months. He has been vocal against Kumar over several issues including the handling of Covid-19 situation, migrants exodus and floods. While Chirag has been attacking the JD(U), his party has been praising the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The LJP president has said that he wants to continue in an alliance with the BJP. The LJP last week quit the NDA and declared to contest against the JD(U).
The declaration made by Sushil Modi is also seen as an assurance to Kumar that he is the leader of the alliance and that he will be at the helm of affairs if the alliance retains power.
The three-phase elections in Bihar will be held between October 28 and November 7. Results will be declared on November 10.