September 20, 2018

24 Dal MLAs in talks to join us: RJD

Patna: Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh on Thursday claimed that at least 24 JDU MLAs were in constant touch with the party and can anytime switch over.

Raghuvansh’s statement came a day after former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi gravitated towards the RJD and four Congress MLCs, including former state Congress chief Ashok Choudhary, joined the JDU.

“At least 24 MLAs are in constant touch with the RJD and can anytime leave the JDU,” Raghuvansh told The Telegraph. “The MLAs are angry with Nitish, who has insulted the mandate of the people. They are feeling uncomfortable in the party and waiting for the right opportunity to switch sides.”

But Raghuvansh did not name any MLA. “Why should I name the MLAs,” Raghuvansh asked. “Don’t you know Nitish’s nature? If I take names, he might harm them or do something to ensure they do not leave the party. These things are done secretly. You will come to know at the right time, when it happens.”

Earlier, Leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav had made similar claims, saying JDU and BJP MLAs were in touch with RJD chief Lalu Prasad and will switch over to the RJD.

But unlike Raghuvansh, Tejashwi had not said how many MLAs wanted to switch sides.

Raghuvansh rubbished the claim that the JDU had played a better game compared to the RJD, taking away four Grand Alliance leaders while the RJD got only Manjhi. “All four Congress MLCs you are talking about are traitors,” Raghuvansh said.

“They had switched their loyalty to Nitish long ago. Their minds and souls were already gone to Nitish. They were just physically present in the Congress. It would not have any impact.”

The former Union minister claimed the RLSP’s Upendra Kushwaha, too, will shift to the RJD in the days to come. Raghuvansh said there were some seat-sharing issues. Once those are ironed out, Kushwaha, too will quit the NDA. “The way Manjhi has come to the RJD, Kushwaha too will come over in a similar way. Manjhi had earlier denied he would switch sides even after I said so, but ultimately he did join us,” Raghuvansh said.

But the JDU dismissed the claims, saying there is no basis for it. “If he’s claiming 24 MLAs, I’m saying that 60 RJD MLAs are in touch with Nitish ji. If someone wants to speak just for sake of being in the news, we too can do the same thing,” JDU MLC and spokesperson Sanjay Singh said.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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