Union Minister Giriraj Singh’s absence from the NDA’s Sankalp (resolution) rally addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Patna on March 3 has fuelled speculation that all was not well with him in the party. Mr. Singh’s loyalty to PM Modi has also been questioned by his silence over Opposition parties attacking the Central government on the Balakot issue.
It was Giriraj Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, who had said that those who would not attend the March 3 rally be called “anti-national and supporter of Pakistan”. But, he himself skipped the rally. “It was Giriraj Singh who had laid down the yardstick that those not attending the rally would be deemed anti-national. Hence, he is himself a big traitor. For where is he applying VISA for?” Madhepura MP and Jan Adhikar party leader Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav had tweeted.
However, Mr. Singh, who comes from the upper caste Bhumihar community, later tweeted saying he was “unwell”.
But political analysts and sources in the BJP told The Hindu that Mr. Singh “deliberately” skipped the rally as he might have got the hint that the party may not field him again from the Nawada Lok Sabha constituency.
“Giriraj Singh may be asked to contest from the Begusarai seat,” said a senior State BJP leader.
Begusarai is also an upper caste Bhumihar-dominated constituency from where the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) is likely to field former JNU president and CPI leader Kanhaiya Kumar. “Under the seat-sharing arrangement, the Nawada seat may go to the Lok Janshakti Party, since the LJP has been asked to vacate its sitting Munger seat for JD(U) candidate Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh. The LJP will stake claim to the Nawada seat,” said a senior BJP leader. State LJP president Pashupati Kumar Paras too has admitted that the party would ask for the Nawada seat if it was denied the Munger seat.