Days after nearly 200 party workers joined the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) suffered another big blow on Monday when its lone MLC Nutan Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Nutan Singh, wife of Bihar minister and BJP MLA Neeraj Kumar Singh, joined the saffron party in Patna in the presence of state BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal.
“My husband is in BJP so I also decided to join the party so that we both can work together,” news agency ANI quoted Nutan Singh, as saying after she jumped the ship.
Last week, more than 200 mid-level and lower-rung leaders of LJP had joined the JD-U in Bihar.
A rattled LJP, which has been taking pride in having weakened the JD-U in the assembly election, lashed out at the deserters whom it sought to dismiss as traitors.
JD-U national president RCP Singh announced at a press conference the induction of 208 leaders from the LJP. Some of them held state-level posts in the party, founded by late Ram Vilas Paswan and now headed by his son.
Most notable among the turncoats is former state general secretary Keshav Singh who has been in revolt against Chirag Paswan and predicting the party’s collapse for some time.
Relations had begun to sour between the JD-U and the LJP last year when Chirag Paswan had started criticising Nitish Kumar for his government’s handling of COVID-19 and the migrant crisis thrown up by the lockdown.
Ahead of the elections, he pulled out of the NDA, vowing to dislodge Nitish Kumar from power but helping the BJP form the next government. The LJP queered the pitch for the JD-U by fielding its candidates, many of them rebels from the BJP, against the chief minister’s party.
However, the LJP managed to win just one seat in the Bihar assembly elections.
(With inputs from PTI)