"Terrorist Bhatkal friend joins BJP... soon accepting Dawood...," the BJP vice-president tweets
The BJP’s attempts at presenting a unified front received another blow on Friday when senior leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi disagreed with the party’s decision to induct the expelled Janata Dal(United) MP, Sabir Ali.
Mr. Naqvi posted an acerbic comment of Twitter: “Terrorist Bhatakal friend join BJP...soon accepting dawood........”
The reference was to Mr. Ali’s alleged proximity to Indian Mujahideen chief Yasin Bhatkal, who was recently arrested.
Expressing dismay, Mr. Naqvi said the party that was fighting against terror could not be seen admitting people who had links to terror groups. He said he expected the party to correct its stand, just as it did in the case of Sriram Sene leader Pramod Mutalik, who was inducted but shown the door after protests.
Earlier, senior leader Sushma Swaraj spoke openly of her disagreement over the BJP throwing its door open to Sriramulu, who is considered close to the Reddy brothers accused in a mining scam in Bellary, Karnataka. She also protested against the inclusion of Venod Sharma, a former Congressman and father of Manu Sharma who is accused of killing model Jessica Lal.
On Friday, speaking about his decision to join the BJP, Mr. Ali said: "I am confident that Mr. [Narendra] Modi is the most capable and competent candidate to be the Prime Minister. The minorities, poor and deprived will benefit from his leadership."
Mr. Ali was the JD(U) nominee in Sheohar for the Lok Sabha elections before the party withdrew his candidature following his praise of Modi. He was also part of Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Jan Shakti Party before joining the JD(U).
Before Mr. Ali, J.K. Singh, another confidant of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, joined the BJP. The JD(U) had declined to renominate Mr. Singh to the Rajya Sabha as his term ends soon.