Patna: The reported plan by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to forge a pre-poll alliance with the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) has triggered a revolt of sorts within the saffron forces with a senior leader strongly opposing the possible electoral deal in public saying the idea could prove “suicidal” for the party.

Former BJP minister Ashwini Kumar Choube said Ram Vilas Paswan, a Dalit leader who heads the LJP, has been an avowed critic of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and it was over the 2002 Gujarat riots that he had quit the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government where he was a cabinet minister.

Thus, Choube said, the very move to seal the seat-sharing deal with LJP may not go down well within the masses given the fact that Paswan has been a rank opportunist.

“It would be a suicidal move by the party (BJP) to have an alliance with the LJP, a party that symbolises family rule and believes in political opportunism,” the BJP leader told the media on Monday, cautioning the party against the possible damage from this proposed tie-up.

He expressed strong displeasure about how the whole things had unfolded and questioned the BJP’s move of starting the alliance talks with the LJP without taking the grass-root party men into confidence.

“I myself came to know about the move (alliance talks) through the media although I am a member of the BJP core committee in the state,” Choube said, alleging the very committee had been rendered defunct by certain people.

In the same vein, he charged Paswan with switching sides and being part of the National Democratic Alliance to cash in on the Modi’s wave sweeping across the country.

Describing him as “pseudo-secular” and “rank opportunist”, Choube said Paswan had been constantly attacking the BJP and Modi for over a decade and they would not tolerate the party’s plan to shake hands with this man.

“We will bring the matter to the notice of the party high command,” Choube told journalists.

Reports in the media said the talks between the two parties have reached quite an advanced stage and a formal announcement to this effect could be made in a day or two.

As per the initial understanding reached between the two, the BJP may spare seven or eight seats for the LJP, which got a raw deal from both the Congress-RJD as well as the Janata Dal (United) of chief minister Nitish Kumar.

The senior state BJP leaders, such as former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, have already rushed to Delhi to give a final shape to its deal while the LJP parliamentary board would meet soon to take a decision.

The possible tie-up between the two parties with opposing ideologies became apparent when both sides began defending each other in public since Sunday.

While senior Bihar leader Modi flayed the UPA government at the centre for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into an appointment scam in a public serving undertaking while LJP chief Paswan was the minister, Chirag Paswan, son of the LJP president and party’s parliamentary board chairman, yesterday strongly defended the Gujarat chief minister over the 2002 riots.

“This does not remain the issue of debate when the Special Investigation Team has given a clean chit to Narendra Modi in connection with the 2002 Gujarat communal riots,” Chirag told the media on Monday.