The controversy surrounding senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi's chief ministerial candidature for next year's Assembly elections refused to die down as another party leader on Wednesday indirectly questioned his credentials for the top post.
"All political leaders born out of the movement led by Jaiprakash Narayan in 1974 have lost their relevance after miserably failing to root out corruption, an agenda on which the great leader had united the countrymen leading to the ouster of then Indira Gandhi government in 1977 elections," prominent BJP leader and four-time MLA from Bihar Rameshwar Chaurasia told PTI on Wednesday.
Corruption continues to remain a serious menace today as was the case four decades ago when the great socialist leader had led the countrymen to rebel against the Congress government in 1974, he said launching an indirect attack against his senior colleague (Modi).
Although he refrained from taking Sushil Modi's name, Chaurasia left it open for one and all to guess that all those leaders who had lost their relevance included Modi, former Deputy Chief Minister in the erstwhile NDA government in the state, as he was a product of the JP movement with which RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar were also associated.
An ex-national secretary and presently co-incharge of the BJP's Uttar Pradesh unit, Chaurasia strongly opposed Modi's projected candidature saying that Bihar needed new blood and fresh crop of leaders to fulfil changed aspirations of masses for corruption-free and transparent governance.
Chaurasia, MLA from Nokha seat in Rohtas district, took potshots at Modi for the party's drubbing in the recent bypolls in ten Assembly seats in which BJP could retain only four seats out of six it held earlier, a result that has not gone well for the party after its astounding success in the general elections.
It was pertinent for the state leadership to own up responsbility for the party's debacle as it failed to retain its sitting seats like Bhagalpur and Chapra to the alliance of RJD, JD(U) and Congress. Earlier, other senior leaders like CP Thakur and Prem Kumar had questioned Modi's credentials to be nominated as the party's chief ministerial candidate for Bihar even as another top leader and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh had backed Modi's candidature.