| Lovely Anand |
Patna, Aug. 26: Even though general elections are still months away, party hoppers in Bihar are already busy.
Lovely Anand, a former Independent MP now with the Congress, declared on Monday she would join any party that can overthrow the Nitish regime. The wife of former MP Anand Mohan, in jail after conviction in IAS officer G Krishnaiah’s murder, did not name which party she would join. But a senior BJP leader said she was negotiating with them for a Lok Sabha seat from Ara or Sheohar.
There are many more who are trying to hop parties. The JD(U) faces desertion by at least three MPs — Mangani Lal Mandal, Jai Narayan Nishad and Puranmasi Ram.
“I have virtually been kept out of the party. Nitish Kumar has ensured that I am always troubled,” JD(U) MP from Jhanjharpur, Mangani, told The Telegraph. He hailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad as the biggest leader of Bihar.
Gopalganj MP Purnmasi Ram has openly slammed Nitish as “autocratic”. BJP sources say Ram met Narendra Modi confidant Parshottam Rupala in Delhi on August 13 for joining the party. But RJD sources say Ram had opened a channel with Lalu Prasad too.
JD(U)’s Muzaffarpur MP Jai Narayan Nishad has praised the most hated name in the JD(U), Narendra Modi, and even held a yajna in Delhi praying that Modi becomes PM.
“We have accepted that the three MPs are no longer with us,” said a senior JD(U) leader.
The buzz is that BJP MP Rama Devi, former MP Anil Kumar and former Union minister Akhilesh Singh, too, will change loyalties. “Many are negotiating with two or more parties,” said an informed politician. Party hoppers have never had it so good, as lots of seats are up for grabs.
The BJP has to find 25 candidates for seats it vacated for the JD(U) in 2009 and JD(U) has to fill 15 seats it left for the BJP. The RJD won only four seats and has many seats to offer. If the Congress fights it alone, there will be 38 more seats.