| Former Legislative Council chairman Tarakant Jha joins the JD(U) on Wednesday in presence of state party chief Bashishtha Narayan Singh. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
The BJP suffered a blow and the JD(U) may have been left with a bitter taste after the founder of the Jan Sangh in Bihar joined the JD(U) on Wednesday.
Former chairman of the Legislative Council Tarakant Jha (87) joined the JD(U) but may not serve the JD(U)’s cause to Nitish’s liking as he has refused to dissociate himself from the RSS ideology.
Asked how he would fit in the JD(U)’s secular, socialist scheme of things, the prominent lawyer and former advocate general said: “I will continue to be rooted in the RSS philosophy,” before hastening to add: “I am a lawyer and, as such, I stick to the brief of the party I work for”.
As if to prove a point, he launched a vitriolic attack on former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi. “I have served the BJP for over 60 years. But I am forced to quit due to maltreatment meted out to me by Sushil Modi, a whimsical leader.”
Tarakant’s departure might still give the BJP a “psychological” edge. Despite being a senior leader from north Bihar’s Mithila region, Jha has never won either an Assembly or Lok Sabha election.
“By getting the RSS’s old guard, still not shy of concealing his commitment to the Sangh parivar, chief minister Nitish Kumar and his JD(U) have shown their soft corner for communal forces,” the Congress’ media in-charge Premchand Mishra said.
Also on Wednesday, JD(U) leader Chandrama Singh, joined the BJP. He was a Congress MLC in the 1990s. BJP leader Sushil Modi remarked: “Tara (star) gaye, Chandrama (moon) aye (The star has gone, the moon has come)”.