BJP president Rajnath Singh Sunday delved into allegory to get it across to the JD (U) leadership what it had risked, by jettisoning his party a week to date.
“Placed on a lotus (BJP’s election symbol), a drop of water looks like a pearl. Without the flower, it is just that: drop of water”, said Singh during his first trip to Bihar after the BJP’s exit from the Nitish Kumar government.
Singh made the remark at a BJP rally here during which was presented proof of the high state of his party’s poll preparedness: a CD bearing details of BJP booth committees of all 50,000-odd polling booths in Bihar.
The BJP president also cautioned the JD (U) that any move on its part to join hands with the Congress would expose it to the risk of being wiped out of Indian politics.
“I need not remind my JD (U) friends that the Congress is facing several cases of corruption, including the Coalgate scam”, said in the presence of several party leaders who were sacked as minister last Sunday.
The advice came exactly a week after the JD (U) announced it was severing its 17-year-old alliance with the BJP in the wake of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s appointment as head of the BJP’s poll campaign committee.
Without identifying him by name, the BJP chief reminded the Bihar chief minister that he had pursued an anti-Congress line of politics all his life. “Rather, the Jan Sangh and BJP have fulfilled the dreams of Lohia and JP”, he said.
Insisting the BJP shared an “emotional” bond with the JD (U), Singh wondered what crime he had committed by announcing Modi’s name for his party’s campaign panel position.
“I simply handed over the rein of our campaign committee to an able leader, whose state is a model of development not only in India but in the world,” said Singh, amidst thunderous applause from party workers.
The BJP president, who arrived here on a two-day visit to bolster the party’s preparations for the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, was largely measured in his references to Kumar. But the same could not be said of other party leaders.
BJP MP and spokesman Syed Shahnawaz Hussain, for instance, claimed Kumar split with the BJP not out of his love for the minorities, “but out his craving for the post of PM”.
Former deputy CM Sushil Modi said Kumar had exhibited a lack of grace by sacking BJP ministers when they were ready with their resignation letters. “He even dismissed (health minister) Ashwini Chaubey, without waiting for him to return from Kedarnath, where he lost several members of his family”, Modi said.
Leader of the opposition in Bihar assembly Nand Kishore Yadav, earlier road construction minister, said one who had dishonoured the popular mandate for JD (U)-BJP shared rule would be “consigned to the dustbin”.
Independent MLA from Sikta in north Bihar, Dilip Verma, sought to boost the BJP morale by claiming he had spurned JD (U)’s efforts to lure him to its side with the offer of a ministerial berth.
A three-term former MLA from Hilsa, in Kumar’s native Nalanda district, Ram Charitra Prasad Singh, announced on the occasion he was quitting the JD (U) to join the BJP.
Bihar BJP chief Mangal Pandey, national vice-president CP Thakur, general secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy and deputy leader of the opposition in the Ranja Sabha were among others who spoke at the meeting.