RLSP president Upendra Kushwaha has asked the BJP to put the NDA above the party interests and engage all allies to chalk out a strategy to counter the unity among the opposition parties for next year's general election.
Describing the recent verdict in bypolls verdict an ‘alert’ for the BJP-led NDA, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) president Upendra Kushwaha has asked the BJP to put the alliance above the party interests and engage all allies to chalk out a strategy to counter the unity among the opposition parties for next year’s general election. Speaking to The Indian Express, Kushwaha conceded that the results of the bypolls have shown the ‘opposition is coming together’, adding that “a similar thing should also happen in the NDA”.
Kushwaha suggested that waiting for the Lok Sabha polls to come close to develop a strategy may prove ‘fatal’. He said that to avoid bitterness within the partners of the ruling coalition, an early agreement on seat-sharing should be done. “It is high time NDA should become a close unit. When Nitish Kumar was part of the Grand Alliance, he looked like an architect of the alliance and did not stay as the representative of one party. A similar thing should happen in the NDA,” he said.
“We should not wait for Lok Sabha polls to come close to work out our poll strategy and seat-sharing arrangements to avoid bitterness,” he added.
“It shows Opposition unity… We should take it as an alert,” the MoS for HRD replied when asked about the takeaway from the defeat of NDA parties in the recent bypolls.
The leader said that RJD’s win in the Jokihat Assembly bypoll was mainly because of the consolidation of Muslim votes. He said that the fortune of the NDA can turn around “if we work as NDA and not put the interests of BJP in front”.
On his friendship with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, he said, “We share a comfortable relationship. We have worked together for a long time.”
Kushwaha also rubbished the reports that his party was making overtures to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD. He said that “RLSP has been very much with NDA’. “Talks of my growing closeness with RJD is a rumour,” he said.
The RLSP had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha in an alliance with the BJP. It had fielded candidates on four seats and won three.