The Janata Dal (United)’s National President Rajiv Ranjan Singh on Wednesday asserted that the party was not scared of the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation despite having ended its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party, PTI reported.
Singh made the statement hours after JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar took oath as the Bihar chief minister for the eighth time. Kumar staked claim to form a new government after being elected as the leader of the grand alliance of nine parties, including the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress.
Opposition leaders have often alleged that central investigative agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate and CBI target them at the behest of the BJP-led Centre.
Singh on Wednesday asked how the BJP could accuse the JD(U) of betrayal, and alleged that it had weaned away six out of seven JD(U) MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh in 2020 and inducted them into the saffron party.
The JD(U) national president also mocked BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi for claiming that Kumar was miffed with the saffron party as he was not considered for the vice-president’s post. Singh said that the BJP shunted out Sushil Kumar Modi as he had close ties with Kumar.
Sushil Kumar Modi was earlier the Bihar deputy chief minister and is now a Rajya Sabha MP.
Singh said that this was not how the National Democratic Alliance functioned earlier. “Earlier, we used to have more seats, but we never spoke about who is the younger brother and who is the elder one,” he told reporters.
The JD(U) leader said that the NDA of today is not like the one led by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. “Today, the BJP does not give respect to its allies in the NDA,” he alleged.
Relations between the BJP and the JD(U) had soured recently because of disagreements over a host of matters such as a proposed population control law, caste census, demand for special category status for Bihar and the Agnipath defence recruitment scheme.
On August 7, the JD(U) said it will not be a part of the expansion of Narendra Modi’s Union Cabinet. Kumar had also skipped the NITI Aayog meet chaired by the prime minister on the same day.
This is the second time that Kumar has severed ties with the BJP.
In 2013, he left the NDA after Modi was announced as the coalition’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, in 2017, he left the Grand Alliance to rejoin the NDA.