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  4. Won't resign as minister, Nitish Kumar may sack me if he wishes: Mukesh Sahani

Won't resign as minister, Nitish Kumar may sack me if he wishes: Mukesh Sahani

Mukesh Sahani rubbished claims by the BJP that during his hurried induction into the NDA ahead of the 2020 assembly polls, a deal was struck that he will merge his VIP within six months.

PTI Reported by: PTI Patna Published on: March 24, 2022 14:53 IST
Bihar Minister of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries and
Image Source : PTI (FILE)

Bihar Minister of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries and Founder of Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) Mukesh Sahani 

Highlights

  • Mukesh Sahani is the founder of Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP)
  • He is Minister of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries in the Nitish Kumar government
  • Earlier this week, all the three MLAs of VIP merged with the BJP

Bihar Minister Mukesh Sahani, who is on the ropes after the BJP's body blow to his Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), on Thursday sought to claw his way back by putting the ball in the court of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Addressing a press conference a day after all three of his MLAs walked over to the BJP, Sahani played the victim card and raked up splits suffered by the Chief Minister's own JD(U) in Arunachal Pradesh, where it lost the status of the main opposition party, and the LJP in Bihar where Chirag Paswan has been isolated in the outfit floated by his father Ram Vilas Paswan.

"It is the chief minister's prerogative to keep me in his Cabinet. I was inducted by him and it must be decided by him whether I should remain or be dropped. I would continue working for the people as long as he wishes," Sahani said.

The minister for animal husbandry and fisheries is a member of the legislative council from a seat, the term of which expires in July this year. The BJP, which had helped him get elected from the seat vacated by one of its own members, has not revealed its cards.

If the BJP chooses not to back Sahani for another term as MLC, he will have to give up his ministerial berth after six months of expiry of tenure unless he gets elected to either House of the legislature.

Sahani also rubbished claims by the BJP that during his hurried induction into the NDA ahead of the 2020 assembly polls, a deal was struck that he will merge his VIP within six months.

"My decision to join NDA followed a closed door meeting with Union Minister Amit Shah in Delhi. If he comes forward and says there was such a deal, I will yield," Sahani said cryptically.

It was speculated in a section of the media around the elections that the BJP was busy roping in smaller players to turn the tables on Kumar at an opportune time. Many JD(U) leaders had also alleged that Chirag Paswan's politics of brinkmanship, which caused its tally to plummet, had the tacit approval of the saffron party.

However, on Wednesday night, state BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal had sought to squarely put the blame for the current crisis on Sahani whom he sought to remind that all the three MLAs of the VIP had formerly been associated with the saffron party.

"He entered the electoral contest in UP against us. We raised no objections. Even the JD(U) did so. Things turned ugly in the run-up to Bochahan assembly by-elections," Jaiswal said about the assembly seat which has fallen vacant upon the death of VIP MLA Musafir Paswan.

Jaiswal claimed that the BJP had offered to field its candidate Baby Kumari on VIP symbol but Sahani was adamant on giving ticket to the late MLA's son Amar Paswan, who has ended up as the RJD nominee.

"The BJP is against this practice of mindlessly promoting undeserving family members of political leaders. Amar Paswan had struck a deal with the RJD two months back and was double-crossing Sahani which the latter was refusing to understand," alleged Jaiswal.

Sahani was also asked about his acerbic attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the UP election campaign, which many BJP leaders here blame for muddying the waters.

"What wrong did I commit? I am fighting for the rights of my Nishad community. The BJP may think Modi is their Prime Minister but he is the entire country's PM and mine as well. If I have a grievance, before whom would I raise it?" asked Sahani, a former Bollywood set designer, who had entered politics around four years back with the colourful nickname 'Son of Mallah'.

READ MORE: Bihar: All 3 VIP MLAs join BJP, now single largest party with 77 members

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