Patna, March 24: The JD(U) today expelled former Rajya Sabha MP and the party’s Sheohar parliamentary seat candidate, Sabir Ali, for praising the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.
Ali, the Muslim face of the JD(U), was the party’s second former Rajya Sabha MP denied re-nomination to have praised the man for whom Nitish Kumar left the NDA. Bureaucrat-turned-politician and former Rajya Sabha MP N.K. Singh, who had recently co-authored a book praising the development model of Nitish, earlier walked into the BJP praising NaMo.
Ali followed the footsteps of Singh when he said: “The Modi model looked good from far.” He also took potshots at Nitish and the Third Front.
The reaction of the JD(U) was instant. Its national spokesperson K.C. Tyagi announced that Ali had been expelled from the party “for life”.
Ali accused Nitish of not keeping his word on giving him re-nomination for the Rajya Sabha. “Nitish Kumar on January 20 this year had promised me that he would re-nominate me to the Rajya Sabha. He had even suggested that I might be adjusted in the Bihar cabinet. He made this promise in the presence of senior leaders like Ram Chandra Prasad, Lallan Singh and Bashishtha Narayan Singh. But he did not keep the promise and betrayed despite my efforts in holding the party’s rally in New Delhi and during the Delhi Assembly polls,” he told The Telegraph.
He clarified that he was yet to take a decision on his political future but the taunts against Nitish were unmistakably clear. “I was denied a (Rajya Sabha) ticket because I am a son of a Muslim. Had I been a son of a Kurmi (Nitish’s caste), I would have been given the ticket,” he said.
Ali declared that both Nitish and Lalu Prasad lead caste outfits. “These regional caste parties try to cheat Muslims in the name of secularism,” he said.
The JD(U) tried to put up a brave front after his expulsion, though. “It will not have any influence on our party’s poll fortunes. Ali deserved to be expelled for the statement he made. We shall be announcing our new candidate from the Sheohar parliamentary seat soon,” said water resources minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary.