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Journalist MJ Akbar joins BJP
Saturday March 22, 2014 9:44 PM, IANS

Journalist and author M.J. Akbar and former bureaucrat N.K. Singh Saturday joined the BJP, the latter inviting scorn from the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) which he quit.

Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh welcomed Akbar and N.K. Singh, a former revenue secretary, into the party at two separate events.

N.K. Singh was known for long as a loyalist of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and was widely credited with building brand Nitish.

"Social activists, retired military officers and actors have become members of the party," Rajnath Singh said. "Today, veteran journalist M.J. Akbar joined the BJP."

This will be Akbar's second innings in politics.

Akbar, who rose to fame after editing the now extinct "Sunday" weekly magazine from 1976, later presided over "The Asian Age" and now edits "The Sunday Guardian", a weekly newspaper.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989 from Kishanganj in Bihar on Congress ticket. He lost in 1991.

Some of his best known books are "India: The Siege Within", "Riot After Riot", "Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan" and "The Shade of Swords: Jehad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity".

After joining the BJP at Rajnath Singh's residence, N.K. Singh said that Bihar's JD-U government was worried over its survival and that development had been hit after the JD-U dumped the BJP.

The JD-U reacted angrily in Patna.

"N.K. Singh is an opportunist," said an angry party leader Sharad Yadav. He said N.K. Singh had told him that he was upset he was not re-nominated to the Rajya Sabha.

"In any party, people express their resentment and anger. It is common after being denied a party ticket. But resigning and joining a party with the opposite ideology is an example of opportunist politics."

The JD-U didn't nominate N.K. Singh to the Rajya Sabha and asked him to contest the Lok Sabha election from Banka.

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