Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushil Modi on Monday downplayed the impact of six Janata Dal (United) MLAs switching over to the saffron party in Arunachal Pradesh, The Indian Express reported.
“We have a strong alliance in Bihar and it’s unbreakable,” Modi told reporters on the sidelines of a function organised on the death anniversary of former Union minister Arun Jaitley. “Arunachal Pradesh episode would have no impact here.”
With six of its seven MLAs shifting allegiance to the BJP, the JD(U) is left with only one legislator in the 60-member House. The BJP has 48 MLAs. However, the JDU prevented the saffron party from sweeping the Itanagar Municipal Corporation polls in Arunachal Pradesh. Contesting its debut civic body elections in Arunachal Pradesh, the JD(U) bagged nine of the 20 wards, according to PTI. The BJP won 10 seats, one short of the majority mark, when the results of the December 22 municipality and panchayat elections were declared.
Last week, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had also sought to dismiss the defections. “They have gone their own way,” he said.
JD(U) leader KC Tyagi said the development was not a good sign for alliance politics. He, however, said it will not affect the coalition government in Bihar.
Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress leaders in Bihar said the move in Arunachal Pradesh hints at how things will turn out in Bihar. “The BJP, by violating the coalition dharma, has sought to send out a clear message that it cares two hoots about Nitish Kumar who, on the other hand, is wary of even reacting,” RJD National Vice President Shivanand Tiwary said in a statement.