Cross-defection fears drive Bihar’s political parties into a frenzy- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

PATNA: Despite the end of ‘kharmas’ (a period under which no auspicious work is done as per Hindu calendar) on Makar Sankranti, the fear of cross ‘defection’ continues to plague all political parties in Bihar.

On Thursday, state’s JD-U chief Umesh Kushwaha dropped a bombshell predicting a major breakup within the RJD-led Grand Alliance in the next few days.

Recently, an ex-MLA from Congress, Bharat Singh, had also expressed worry that 11 out of 19 MLAs could switch over to the saffron side.

Senior RJD spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwari however denied any possibility of distress in the party and claimed that many from the ruling alliance instead were keen on jumping ship after being disgruntled with the state of affairs. 

Shyam Rajak also claimed that 17 MLAs of the ruling party were hobnobbing with him to switch over to RJD after January 14, a claim JD-U quashed.

The NDA has formed the government under the leadership of Nitish Kumar with a thin majority and support of two smaller allies – with 4 MLAs from VIP, another 4 from HAM, and 1 independent.

Concerns over defection, both in the NDA and opposition, gained momentum after the Arunachal Pradesh incident, and have since caught the parties by a frenzy. 

For RJD in particular, fear of a split has intensified in the wake of JDU MP of Lok Sabha Rajiv Ranjan Singh’s (alias Lallan Singh) support to Bhupendra Yadav’s claim about major desertion of MLAs from RJD.

Inside sources from both GA and NDA however claim that all parties are treading with caution.

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