Kushwaha’s comment came a day after he was offered 2 Lok Sabha seats by BJP national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav during a meeting in New Delhi.
Patna: RLSP Chief and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha’s jibe at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar that “he has reached political saturation point”, has not gone well with the Janata Dal (United).
While the BJP has not given any rection, the JD(U) reacted bitterly to Mr Kushwaha. In a statement, the party said, “Every political leader has the right to dream but in Bihar, there is no vacancy for the post (of CM). Nitish Kumar is the Chief Minister and will remain on the post for many years to come.”
Mr. Kushwaha while addressing his party’s youth wing which had gathered to celebrate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhabahi Patel in Patna on Wednesday had said that, “Nitish Kumar has been Bihar CM for the last 15 years, but he wants to step down from the post. He shared this with me during a personal conversation recently”.
Mr Kushwaha’s comment came a day after he was offered two Lok Sabha seats by BJP national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav during a meeting in New Delhi.
During his speech, Mr. Kushwaha said that his party is “ready to sacrifice seats” but also want the BJP to explain why RLSP was kept out of Bihar cabinet while other smaller parties like Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP were accommodated during the formation of government in July 2017.
“In partnership, gains and losses are shared equally. But what did RLSP get? I am not demanding any ministerial berth in Bihar now because time has passed. However, I want to know why RLSP was kept out during the formation of government in Bihar.”
On a number of occasions after his meeting with BJP leadership in New Delhi, he said that his party wants a “respectable” number of seats for 2019 general elections.
Mr Kushwaha has been upset ever since Nitish Kumar returned to NDA fold and formed a government with BJP in 2017. He has also been unhappy over the diminution in his party’s clout within the NDA after Kumar returned to the coalition. His meeting with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav last week had also sparked speculations over his future course of action.
RJD sees RLSP chief as a powerful Koeri leader, the largest OBC caste group after the Yadavs in Bihar. Koeris form around 10 per cent of voters in the state. RJD leaders feel that Kushwaha’s entry in Mahagathbandhan may cause a massive dent to JD(U)’s vote bank in Bihar.
“The political scenario in Bihar has changed. Our party’s support base has increased in the last 15 years. Ignoring Mr. Kush-waha is not easy for Bihar parties. But right now we are waiting for the BJP to call us for discussions. Speculations regarding RLSP holding talks with Mahagathbandhan are baseless,” RLSP leader Jitendra Nath said.