Mukesh Sahani says BJP is afraid of his growing stature


PATNA: Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) leader and Bihar minister Mukesh Sahani on Thursday hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying it is afraid of his growing stature. He added the BJP was preventing regional parties from growing.

The comments came a day after three VIP lawmakers defected to the BJP. “I have been struggling since I was 18. I left Bollywood and public service to fight for the cause of my community. I knew anything can happen in this fight. …I will keep working for the people,” said Sahani, who is a member of the legislative council and now the lone VIP legislator.

He rejected state BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal’s statement that Sahani approached BJP for joining the ruling alliance. Jaiswal claimed the BJP fielded candidates for the seats that VIP contested as part of an agreement.

Sahani accused Jaiswal of lying. “I only had negotiations with [Union home minister] Amit Shah.”

Sahani wished the three defectors well. “My good wishes are with those three MLAs [members of legislative assembly] who were with us till yesterday [Wednesday] and have joined another party [BJP] now.” He added the defection has increased BJP’s strength to 77 in the assembly and made it the single largest. “I congratulate them,” said Sahani.

The Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal has 75 seats in the 243-member House, Congress 19, and the Left 12. Janata Dal (United) or JD (U), which is a part of the ruling coalition, has 43 seats.

Sahani said he has been vocal about his rights. “People were afraid that I might become a hero. I will not bow down before anybody. The MLAs joining the BJP is not a big event. I lost three but might have 40 in the future,” he said.

Sahani praised chief minister and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar’s development agenda. “…you have seen how Chirag Paswan’s party was split…the BJP engineered the defection of JD (U) MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh. I am focused on the Bochchan assembly by-polls.”

Sahani said Kumar will decide on his continuation in his ministry. “I will keep working till the last day.”

The BJP has demanded Sahani’s resignation. “If he has any morality left, he should immediately step down,” said BJP leader Prem Ranjan Patel.

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