Delhi BJP’s headquarters on Tuesday welcomed “hundreds” of Janata Dal (U) party workers and key office-bearers who had apparently deserted their party to jump on the “Modi’s Vikas Rath” even as the sole JD(U) MLA from Matia Mahal, Shoaib Iqbal, said that his party did not even have a functioning State unit in the Capital.

Surrounded by those he claimed were JD(U) officer-bearers, Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan said that the entire Delhi unit of the JD(U) had decided to join the BJP. “The JD(U) unit, almost all of them, office-bearers and party workers have decided to join us today. It’s clear that apart from Mr. Modi nobody else has a chance in the coming elections,” he said.

Among the JD(U) office-bearers that Dr. Vardhan introduced to reporters were chief general secretary Diwakar Jha, general secretaries Surender Gupta and Sunil Kashyap and secretaries Roopesh Rajan and Srinath Jha among others.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Jha said that he wanted to be part of the “Modiji’s Vikas Rath” and that the BJP has been taking up people-centric issues. “I have been with the JD(U) for the last nine years and I am also a member of the parliamentary board,” he said. “JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar had said that he will provide a government that ensured social reforms but he has betrayed the people. After the Delhi Assembly elections, I sent him a message saying that he needed to strengthen the unit in Delhi but he did not take heed of this,” said Mr. Jha.

While Dr. Vardhan mentioned former MLA from Sangam Vihar S.C.L. Gupta for his efforts to facilitate the support from JD(U) party workers, interestingly an Independent candidate named Diwakar Jha had contested from Sangam Vihar in the 2013 Delhi Assembly elections. Meanwhile, Mr. Iqbal termed the developments a “fabrication” and said there was no question of the office-bearers leaving since the JD(U) did not have a properly functioning State unit. The Delhi unit chief, Sabir Ali, was unavailable for comment.