Patna, Aug. 13: The rumblings within the JD(U) are now out in the open, the first time after it severed ties with the BJP.
Several party workers are annoyed at the showcause notices slapped on agriculture minister Narendra Singh and rural works minister Bhim Singh by national party president Sharad Yadav for their remarks on the death of five soldiers in Kashmir — four of whom hailed from Bihar.
At least two JD(U) MLAs have openly questioned Sharad Yadav’s move of issuing showcauses to the senior leaders. There are indications that more MLAs may join the duo if the party fails to take “preventive steps”.
The BJP, which has been threatened by desertion from its MLAs, is happy over the development and is seeking to fish in the troubled waters.
“It is unfortunate that a senior politician of Bihar like Narendra Singh has been humiliated and issued a notice despite the fact that he has already apologised over his remarks. Had I been in his place, I would have resigned,” said former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday at a news meet called to list the failures of the Nitish Kumar government in the past two months since the alliance split.
Modi had been one of the first BJP leaders to criticise Narendra Singh’s statement that “the soldiers in Poonch were killed not by the Pakistan army but terrorists and Pakistan was like a younger brother to India”.
However, as the senior minister sulks over the showcause, the BJP sees it as a golden opportunity to precipitate the crisis in its former ally.
The JD(U) MLA from Dinara Assembly seat in Rohtas, Jai Kumar Singh, openly questioned the showcause issued to Narendra Singh.
“Narendra bhai is not a small-time leader. He is a very senior leader of the party and has given strength to the JD(U) and the government since 2005. What was the need of issuing a showcause when he had already issued an apology for his statement?” the MLA asked. Another JD(U) MLA, Sumit Singh and the son of the agriculture minister, questioned the showcause issued to his father. “When my father had already issued an apology, what was the need for the showcause?” he asked.
Narendra Singh supporters are enraged over the language used in the showcause. “It says that you (Narendra Singh) did not issue an apology the next day despite the fact that I (Sharad Yadav) had telephoned you to do so,” stated one of Singh’s supporters.
He pointed out that during the JP Movement in the 1970s, Narendra Singh was senior to Nitish Kumar and was one of the leading student leaders during his times.