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Veteran legislator of BJP set to join Dal

Motihari, March 5: The BJP’s poll fortunes could suffer a jolt in East Champaran with the five-time party MLA from Chiriya, Avanish Kumar Singh, set to join the JD(U) tomorrow.

The disgruntled legislator decided to sever his 40-year-old association with the BJP and join the JDU in a function at Sangrampur — a part of Nitish Kumar’s Sankalp Yatra —because of the alleged partisan attitude of the party’s state leadership over the past nine years. Singh claimed that the JD(U)’s move to make him the chairperson of the zero hour in the Assembly inspired him to join the ruling party.

A darling of his castemen, the Bhumihar legislator’s loyalty-switch could prove to be a deciding factor in the district in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls. Popular among the people for his cordial behaviour, a portion of around one lakh Bhumihar votes in the Motihari parliamentary constituency could sway with Singh.

On the eve of switching sides, Singh told The Telegraph: “I sat in the Opposition for the major part of my tenure as an MLA but never complained. But after the erstwhile NDA came to power in the state in 2005, the state BJP leadership preferred to keep me out of the cabinet for two terms.”