Updated April 13th, 2024 at 21:36 IST

Dissatisfied RJD Leader Ashfaq Karim Joins JD(U)

RJD leader Ashfaq Karim on Saturday joined the JD(U) headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, alleging "discrimination against Muslims" in the party

RJD leader Ashfaq Karim joins JD(U) | Image:PTI
Advertisement

Patna: Disgruntled RJD leader Ashfaq Karim on Saturday joined the JD(U) headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, alleging "discrimination against Muslims" in the party headed by the latter's arch-rival Lalu Prasad.

Karim, who was denied a second term in Rajya Sabha in March this year, and whose hopes of a Lok Sabha ticket from Katihar came a cropper, was inducted into the JD(U) in the presence of national general secretary Sanjay Kumar Jha, state president Umesh Kushwaha and senior minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary.

Advertisement

Talking to reporters on the occasion, Karim, who quit the RJD late Friday, rued that "only two" Muslims figured in the list of 22 candidates made public by the RJD earlier this week.

"So much for the RJD's promise of proportionate representation to all sections of the society when the caste survey findings came out", said Karim, who runs a private university in Katihar and has been, in the past, associated with many parties, including late Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party.

Advertisement

Karim was understood to have been assured an RJD ticket by Lalu Prasad from Katihar but the seat went to ally Congress which has fielded former Union minister Tariq Anwar.

Speaking on the occasion, Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, who is also a former state president of JD(U), said it was a "Ghar wapsi" (homecoming) for Karim, who had been "with us since our Samata Party days".

Advertisement

Chaudhary added that Karim's induction into the JD(U) "is proof of the trust our leader Nitish Kumar enjoys among the minorities, despite our old alliance with BJP".

"Muslims of Bihar can never forget the Bhagalpur riots that took place during Congress rule and Lalu Prasad's attempts to shield many of the accused. It was only after Nitish Kumar came to power that the guilty were brought to justice", said Chaudhary.

Advertisement

Sanjay Jha said Karim's entry into the JD(U) will provide a boost to the NDA's prospects, in the Lok Sabha polls, in the Seemanchal region which has a heavy concentration of Muslims. 

Advertisement

Published April 13th, 2024 at 21:35 IST