A miffed Mukesh Sahni on Monday boycotted the NDA meeting chaired by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and said there was no point attending such meeting when “NDA has boiled down to just the BJP and the JDU.”
Mukesh Sahani of late has been warming up to the RJD and since the NDA government in Bihar stands on a wafer-thin majority, and the statements of Sahni may sound to be an alarm bell for the NDA .
Infact in recent times both Mukesh Sahani, the president of VIP and Jeetan Ram Manjhi, the president of HAM have had several rounds of meetings between them.
Manjhi has already been very critical of the BJP and has been targeting the BJP on several occasions in the recent past despite being the alliance partner within the NDA.
Sahni is mincing no words in saying that the smaller parties have no say in the present government. He also went to the extent of saying that Bureaucracy is too overwhelming in the state and even a peon does not obey a minister.
It’s pertinent to note here, that both Manjhi and Sahani were contacted by Lalu Prasad Yadav immediately after the results and were promised key ministerial berths as an allurement to switch sides.
Both the leaders had made it known to the world by talking about the offer from the RJD in public. Both Manjhi and Sahni have been nurturing larger ambitions but the same did not find a favorable echo in the cabinet expansion of Nitish Kumar.
The trigger point is the denial of permission to Mukesh Sahani to come out of Varanasi Airport where he had gone to attend an event where the statue of Nishad leader Phoolan Devi was to be installed.
The Varanasi administration denied him the permission, which made Sahni very critical of the Yogi-led government and went to the extent of saying that the VIP will contest on 165 seats in the forthcoming assembly elections in UP.
Meanwhile, there seems to have been a spillover effect in Bihar as well where he declined to participate in the legislature party meeting of the NDA.
Sahni and Manjhi are known to switch sides very often. Prior to the 2020 assembly elections, they were part of the Mahagathbandhan but at the last moment just before the seat-sharing formula was arrived at within the NDA the two leaders switched sides.
Sahni categorically stated on Monday that both VIP and HAM were marginalized within the NDA. He blamed that coordination meetings do not take place. The statements of Sahni can have much wider political ramifications in the days to come if the damage control mechanism is not put in place within the NDA.