Upendra Kushwaha gives ultimatum to BJP over seat-sharing, sets November 30 deadline
In what could be termed as a deadline, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) president Upendra Kushwaha asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to decide on seat-sharing for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls by November 30. The decision was taken at the RLSP state executive meeting in Patna on Saturday amid speculations that Kushwaha could make a "big announcement" with regard to his continuance in the BJP-led NDA.
Kushwaha, Union Minister of State for HRD, had left for Delhi on Thursday, announcing that he had sought an appointment with BJP chief Amit Shah to gain clarity on the issue of seat-sharing among the NDA constituents in Bihar, and also his alleged humiliation at the hands of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Kushwaha said he is hurt by Kumar’s “neech” remark and sought an opolpgy from the Bihar CM. Kumar had purportedly made the remark on November 3 after he was asked about Kushwaha’s claim that he does not wish to continue as CM after 2020. The Janata Dal (United) Chief had said, “Baatchit ka star itna neeche mat giraeeye (don’t allow the level of debate to stoop so low).”
A former JD(U) leader, Kushwaha had resigned from the party and founded his own organisation in 2013. He joined the NDA soon after Kumar snapped the 17-year-old ties with the BJP following differences over projecting Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. The RLSP had won all three seats it had contested in the state in the 2014 general elections.
After a dismal performance in the Lok Sabha polls wherein the JD(U) won only two of the 40 seats in the state, Kumar had forged an alliance with arch-rival Lalu Prasad, who heads the RJD, along with the Congress leading to the formation of a 'Mahagathbandhan' that won a handsome victory in the assembly polls of 2015.
However, the JD(U) president got rattled by corruption allegations against his then deputy Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu's younger son, and walked out of the alliance last year and rejoined the NDA.
(With PTI inputs)