PATNA: A senior BJP leader and minister Mangal Pandey on Wednesday claimed that both RJD and Congress were likely to face splits in the near future and many of their members viewing the NDA as a more viable alternative.
However, both the Congress and the RJD reacted angrily to the statement, saying the BJP was living in a "fool's paradise", oblivious to the resentment among its own cadre.
"Congress, under the leadership of its new president Rahul Gandhi, is heading for a nation-wide wipeout. Similarly, the RJD is in dire straits following imprisonment of its supremo Lalu Prasad, cases slapped against a number of his family members and many senior leaders feeling uneasy under Tejashwi Yadav who is a novice", Pandey told reporters.
He claimed "a number of leaders in both the Congress and the RJD feel insecure about their future and look at the BJP-led NDA, which is in power in the state as well as the Centre, as a viable option.
We may see many of them moving to our camp in near future".
Pandey is BJP in-charge of Himachal Pradesh where the party returned to power.
In Bihar he is Health minister in the Nitish Kumar cabinet.
"The BJP is living in a fool's paradise. The reality is, RJD has the largest support base among all parties in Bihar and although Prasad has gone to jail in a corruption case, the public perception remains that he has been treated in unfairly", RJD national vice president Shivanand Tiwari told PTI in a strong retort.
"On the other hand, there is a severe disenchantment with Narendra Modi government at the Centre and Nitish Kumar regime in Bihar. Both, had assumed power with tall promises but have failed to deliver. The people, in particular the Dalits and the OBCs, are very angry which was visible in the recent assembly polls in Gujarat where the BJP managed to win by the skin of its teeth", Tiwari said.
"Under these circumstances, no leader of the RJD will be foolish enough to join the NDA. Pandey has been saying this for long to galvanize his demoralised cadre", he added.
In a statement, Acting president of Bihar Congress Kaukab Qadri said "the truth is, many senior leaders in BJP are feeling stifled. Recently, its Maharashtra MP Nana Patole resigned his Lok Sabha membership and joined our party. In Gujarat, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel was going to quit the party along with 17 supporters and relented only after being allotted finance and other important portfolios".
"In addition, there is turmoil in the BJP's Punjab and Karnataka units. Also, many former heavyweights like Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and Kirti Azad have turned against the
party", he added.