Kushwaha May Quit NDA Over Nitish Kumar & BJP-JD(U) Pact
Upendra Kushwaha has alleged that Nitish Kumar is trying to poach MLAs from his party.
On Monday, 12 November, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) president Upendra Kushwaha paid a visit to Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) founder Sharad Yadav, fuelling speculations over a potential break up with the NDA.
Sharad Yadav had quit Janata Dal United or JD(U) and formed LJD after JD(U)'s party chief Nitish Kumar had decided to return to NDA in 2016. Hence, Kushwaha referring to his meeting with Yadav as a "courtesy call" was not enough to silence the alarm bells.
KUSHWAHA VS KUMAR
Kushwaha has been dealing with increased pressure since Nitish Kumar made his way back to the NDA. This, according to The Indian Express, is because JD(U) and RLSP "share a similar social base."
On 31 October, Kushwaha had said that Kumar did not want to continue as Bihar’s chief minister beyond 2020, to which Kumar had retorted, saying, “Baatchit ka star itna neeche mat giraeeye (Don’t lower the bar for debate).”
Kushwaha took the remark as a barb and said Kumar had referred to him as “neech” (lowly).
At present, Kushwaha's major woes include JD(U)‘s alleged attempts at MLA poaching and a seat split that does not meet RLSP's expectations.
THE POACHING PROBLEM
“Nitish Kumar ji has been trying to poach MLAs. He has come down to destroying Upendra Kushwaha and his party but he cannot cause any damage to me. He is a part of the NDA and so are we, (hence) he should not do such things.”Upendra Kushwaha
Kushwaha alleged that Nitish Kumar is trying to poach MLAs from his party, after top JD(U) leaders reportedly met RLSP's Sudhanshu Shekhar and Lalan Paswan. According to The Indian Express, Shekhar was also offered a ministerial berth and Paswan a parliamentary seat.
Asserting that poaching MLAs is a crime, Kushwaha said that he has sought a meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.
WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH THE SEATS?
It is being speculated that the BJP and JD(U) will contest an equal number of seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. This will leave Kushwaha's RLSP and Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP a paltry share, even though in 2014 RLSP had contested and won and LJP had won six out of seven seats.
According to India Today, it is suspected that the BJP and JD(U) will contest 17 seats and LJP and RLSP will have to share share six.
Kushwaha said that he would also ask Amit Shah to resolve the "confusion" over seat sharing soon, reported NDTV.
TO LEAVE OR NOT TO LEAVE
According to The Indian Express, the RSLP “is expected to” walk out of the NDA in early December because the BJP is not showing enough signs of intervening in the RLSP-JD(U) divide.
In October, Kushwaha had also met with Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav.
(With inputs from ANI, The Indian Express, India Today, NDTV.)
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