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Dissidence swells in BJP ranks

- Ex-minister distances self from politics

Patna, March 27: Another BJP leader and former minister has decided to follow in the footsteps of former MP Lalmuni Chaubey.

Chandra Mohan Rai has revolted against denial of party ticket in this Lok Sabha poll. However, unlike Chaubey, who went to file his nomination papers from Buxar as an Independent, Rai virtually called it quits from politics and announced he would not even contest the Assembly polls or hold any post in the party.

“The trimurti (triumvirate) have halted the NaMo wave in Bihar,” he said, apparently referring to Sushil Kumar Modi, Nand Kishore Yadav and Mangal Pandey for the “mess” arising from ticket distribution. He said it had left dedicated party workers demoralised. Rai, who has been with the BJP since the Jan Sangh days and is one of the architects of the BJP gaining ground in Champaran, stressed that he would continue in the party as an ordinary worker.

Rai released the letter he wrote to BJP president Rajnath Singh in which he expressed his bitterness over the manner in which tickets had been distributed in Bihar. “I was denied the Valmikinagar ticket on the pretext that it was a Brahmin seat. The ticket has, however, been given to a Brahmin (Satish Dubey) who is accused in six criminal cases, including those of bank robbery and kidnapping,” Rai wrote in his letter, stressing that when he joined the Jan Sangh 45 years ago, Champaran was a Congress citadel.

“It was I who groomed party workers and supporters in the region and transferred it into a BJP stronghold,” he wrote, claiming that the Assembly segment he won from had a limited population of his caste (Bhumihar).

“I won five elections from the same Assembly segment. At that time, no leader of the party asked me about my caste,” Rai said. Besides, he said, the same Brahmin caste, who were Congress supporters in the 1980s, had turned BJP supporters and voted for him in the Assembly poll.

He said the state core committee of the party had unanimously recommended his name but he still could not get a ticket.

Rai complained that it was not the first time he felt humiliated in the party. “Despite spending 45 years of my life in the BJP, I was not considered fit to be made state president of the party or leader of the party in the Assembly,” he said, recalling that despite being praised for his work as a health minister, he was removed from the ministry.

Rai said despite the Modi wave, the party would have to face the consequences of giving wrong persons tickets in the Lok Sabha polls.


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