Taking a tough stand against rebels, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar expelled nine of its leaders, including a sitting member of the outgoing assembly and two former MLAs, for deciding to contest the polls against National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidates, mostly on Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) tickets in the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections.
The rebels were asked to withdraw their nomination by October 12 in a deadline set by the state unit of the saffron party. They, however, defied the party discipline following which the expulsion for six years was announced by state president Sanjay Jaiswal in a statement. The leaders who have been expelled include Jhajha MLA Ravindra Yadav, Rajendra Singh, Rameshwar Chaurasia, Usha Vidyarthi, Shweta Singh, Indu Kashyap, Anil Kumar,Mrinal Shekhar and Ajay Pratap.
The BJP is fighting the election in alliance with Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), Hindustan Awam Morcha (Secular) and Mukesh Sahni’s Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP). It is important to note that BJP’s alliance partner at Centre, Chirag Paswan’s Lok Jankati Party (LJP), has decided the fight the election independently. LJP has been in revolt mode since going solo and has been attacking Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.
All the rebels were denied tickets by the BJP, following which they shifted gear and decided to contest against NDA candidates despite a warning issued by deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
Bihar assembly polls are scheduled to take place in three phases on October 28, November 3, and November 7. The counting of votes will take place on November 10. According to the seat-sharing formula of the alliance partners, BJP will contest from 115 seats, JD(U) from 110 seats, while the VIP and HAM(S) will field their candidates from 11 and 7 seats, respectively for 243-seat assembly polls.