Cracks in Bihar BJP: Legislator wants Nitish as PM

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 22, 2013 13:58 hrs

Patna: A BJP legislator on Monday said he wanted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to become India's prime minister, exposing the cracks in the party's state unit and prompting a BJP leader to admit that his party was facing internal problems.

Bharatiya Janata Party leaders accused the Janata Dal-United of trying to lure JD-U legislators but said they were confident of overcoming the challenge.

BJP legislator Rana Gangeshwar Singh said he wanted to see Nitish Kumar and not Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the next prime minister, a day after a Bihar BJP legislator was suspended for anti-party activities.

Gangeshwar Singh, legislator from Mohiuddinnagar in Samastipur district, asked people of Bihar to vote for the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in the next general election so that it wins at least 30 of the 40 seats.

"After that, no one can stop Nitish Kumar from becoming the next prime minister. It would be a matter of pride for Bihar," Gangeshwar Singh told IANS.

A 17-year-old alliance between the BJP and JD-U ended last month over a national role for Narendra Modi in the next general elections. Since then, both parties have been at each other's throats.

Gangeshwar Singh and another BJP legislator, Vijay Kumar Mishra, have questioned the suspension of legislator-colleague Amarnath Gami from the party.

Gami was suspended Sunday for accusing senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi of hijacking the party.

The duo said Gami's suspension was "unfortunate" and there was "no internal democracy in the BJP".

Mishra, BJP legislator from Jale seat in Darbhanga, said he would support a party that helps him develop his constituency.

"For me, the party hardly matters. People want development, nothing less," he said.

BJP vice president C.P. Thakur admitted some party leaders were unhappy with the state party leadership.

State BJP president Mangal Pandey, Sushil Kumar Modi and over half a dozen party leaders including former ministers met RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to discuss the next general election.

BJP leaders refused to give details about their meeting with RSS chief, who is on a two-day visit to Bihar.

Pandey and Modi accused Nitish Kumar for encouraging rebellion in the BJP by luring some legislators with the promise of giving them government posts and making some ministers.

Modi warned: "If JD-U breaks the BJP, we will also not sit silent. We won't hesitate to break JD-U."

Mangal Pandey said several JD-U leaders were in touch with the BJP.

After the JD-U dumped the BJP last month over Narendra Modi, speculation is rife that some BJP legislators may join the JD-U.

Bihar Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh claimed that over 40 BJP legislators and 17 from the Rashtriya Janata Dal were knocking the doors to join the JD-U.

Nitish Kumar also met JD-U legislators, state leaders including ministers from across the state here Monday.

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