Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha on Sunday said he would apprise BJP chief Amit Shah of the ‘humiliation’ he had suffered at the hands of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. According to news agency PTI, Kushwaha said that he had sought an appointment with Shah and would also request BJP chief to clear the ‘confusion’ over seat-sharing among the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituents in the state at the earliest.
On Friday, Kushwaha made it clear that the party would not settle for anything less than three seats in Bihar, signaling a lack of consensus among partners over seat-sharing for next year’s general election. Hours after the announcement, Kushwaha created a stir with his ‘unscheduled meet’ with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav at Arwal in Bihar.
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According to several media reports, Kushwaha has been peeved after the Bharatiya Janata Party and the JD (U) decided to contest an equal number of seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election in Bihar. On October 26, BJP chief Amit Shah had announced that the saffron party and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) would contest an equal number of seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election in Bihar.
Kushwaha, a former JD(U) leader himself, had quit the party in 2013 and floated his own outfit. He had joined the NDA at a time when Kumar had snapped ties with the BJP.
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Recently, Kushwaha was involved in a war of words with the Bihar CM after claiming that latter once told him he would not want to remain CM after three consecutive terms. In return, the JD(U) chief hit back by saying that discussions should not be taken to such a ‘low level’.
Bihar sends 40 members to Parliament and after the BJP-JD(U) deal, there is speculation that this would mean fewer seats for other allies like the RLSP and the LJP. Reportedly, opposition Grand Alliance, comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress and the Hindustani Awam Morcha, too has been trying to woo Kushwaha into its fold.
Meanwhile, RLSP MLA Sudhanshu Shekhar met JD(U) national vice-president Prashant Kishor, triggering speculation of a major crisis in the party. The party had won two seats in the 2015 Bihar Assembly polls.