In a snub to BJP MP R K Singh, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today trashed his allegation that criminals were given tickets in Bihar Assembly elections.
“In BJP, ticket distribution is done fairly considering all aspects,” the Home Minister said on the sidelines of an event here.
The senior BJP leader was asked to comment on the remarks of former bureaucrat and Ara MP’s allegation of exchange of money in ticket distribution for the Bihar assembly election by some state party leaders.
The former Union Home Secretary had criticised the BJP unit in Bihar for denying tickets to rightful candidates. R K Singh alleged “Popular sitting MLAs are denied tickets and criminals are being given tickets. No wonder party workers are enraged in Bihar.”
“What is the difference between you (BJP) and Lalu Prasad if you give tickets to criminals?” Singh had asked, accusing the state unit of not doing justice to people of Bihar by giving tickets to the criminals.
To another question, Rajnath Singh claimed, “BJP will win Bihar Assembly polls with majority as it has public support.”
“There is a lot of anger among party workers over tickets. The way tickets have been given, I feel their anger is right,” Singh said.
He said he tried to get in touch with senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, a front runner for chief ministership if NDA is voted to power, to register protest but he did not take his calls. Singh said he had told the party leadership, including Modi, earlier that people with clean image alone should be given tickets.
“I had told him that clean people should be given party tickets. If you had not given tickets to criminals and given to people with clean image, the chances of winning would have been better,” he said.
Singh said he came to know of money having exchanged hands in distribution of tickets during a visit to his constituency yesterday.
He also named a few candidates whose assembly segments were part of his Ara Lok Sabha seat, besides some others in Patna and Arwal districts who he alleged had bought tickets and said,”I will not campaign for such candidates even if the party asks me to.” Singh denied media reports that party chief Amit Shah and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had spoken to him and asked him to keep silent on this.
Sushil Kumar Modi said though he had not seen Singh’s interview, tickets are decided in BJP by its Parliamentary Board after comprehensive discussion.
He sought to downplay the controversy, saying such complaints were often made during elections by aspirants who fail to get tickets and those who are unable to secure them for their people. “There is nothing new about it,” he said.
A Modi aide, who normally handles his phone calls, claimed he had gone through the call data of the past one week but did not find any made by the MP from ARA. Modi said while fingers were being pointed at BJP, it was ruling JD(U) which had given tickets to more than a dozen people with criminal background like Dhumal Singh, Sunil Pandey, Munna Shukla among others. JD(U) was quick to pounce on Singh’s comments to attack Modi.
“Modi has aversion to forward caste people within BJP too,” said Sanjay Singh, JD(U) spokesman and MLC.