On the first day of the Janata Dal United national executive that started in Patna on Saturday, the party termed the political developments that took place in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday when six of its seven MLAs defected to the BJP, as an “unfriendly act” and against the coalition dharma.
It is pertinent to mention that the JDU is a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA, both in Bihar and at the Centre.
K.C. Tyagi, the national secretary general of the JDU, while speaking on the developments that have taken place in Arunachal Pradesh, said that it was an unwarranted act. “This was an unfriendly act by a party considered to be a friendly alliance partner. It is against the coalition dharma. The defections from JDU to BJP were unwarranted as the BJP enjoyed a clear majority in the 60-member Assembly of Arunachal Pradesh,” Tyagi said.
Adding more drama to the developments, the Opposition RJD said Nitish Kumar should join hands with the RJD and form a new government, rather than stay with BJP and keep getting “humiliated”. RJD MLA and spokesperson Bhai Virendra, who is regarded as close to leader of Opposition, Tejashwi Yadav, said, “We have an offer to Nitish Kumar—give up his CM’s chair and help Tejashwi Yadav in forming a new government in the state. That would help him retain a bit of respectability. Else, his party would suffer the same fate here as it has in Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
The JDU, as per the deliberations that took place in the national executive which ends on Sunday, will contest in West Bengal and field its candidates against the BJP and the TMC in the upcoming May 2021 Assembly elections. JDU’s West Bengal unit president, Ashok Kumar Das, said, “The JDU has a strong base in 23 districts in West Bengal. We are prepared to contest the Assembly elections independently.” According to him, the West Bengal unit has already prepared the list of its candidates who will be contesting against both the TMC and BJP. With the defection eliciting no strong response from JDU president and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar who termed it as not a “big thing”, speculations regarding the long term future of JDU and the possibility of the party “merging” into the BJP “soon” has gathered more strength. The party has 43 MLAs in the Bihar Assembly, while the BJP has 74 MLAs as a result of which a strong section within the state BJP wants the CM of the state to be from the BJP.
BJP spokesman Prem Ranjan Patel, while responding to Tyagi’s comments, said that the BJP did not force the JDU MLAs in Aruanchal to join the BJP. “The JDU MLAs had applied for their admission into the BJP. The BJP did not force them to quit JDU and join us. It is absolutely wrong to put the blame on us, it was the JDU which failed to control its MLAs. It is the JDU’s failure,” he said.
Ever since Nitish Kumar took oath as the CM, BJP has continued to put pressure on the CM JDU for failing to maintain law and order in the state.
On Saturday evening, former Union minister and senior BJP leader and party MLC, Sanjay Paswan said that Nitish Kumar should hand over the Home portfolio to a BJP minister, while adding that Kumar has failed as a home minister. Paswan demanded that the Chief Minister should replace the principal secretary of the home department, Amir Subhani immediately.
“It is strange that Amir Subhani has been the state’s home secretary for the last 15 years. A competent officer should be appointed in his place,” Paswan said.
Earlier, BJP MP from Rohatas, Chhedi Paswan, had demanded the removal of the district SP of Rohtas for failing to control crime. State BJP president, Sanjay Jaiswal, too, on 4 December, had said that there has been a total collapse of law and order and rise in crime graph in the state, while adding that the police officers were not listening to the complaints of even MPs.