Less than a month after Bihar Assembly elections results, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha has started responding to feelers from JD(U) national president and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. The two leaders met recently and it is being widely speculated that the RLSP can soon align with JD(U).
However, Kushwaha may not decide in favour of a merger soon despite the JD(U) asking for the same, according to sources.
Sources in RLSP and JD(U) said Kushwaha’s wife Snehlata Sinha can take to active politics and there is speculation about Kushwaha being made an MLC.
No choice left for Kushwaha
After the RLSP’s consecutive dismal performance in the 2015 Assembly polls, 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 2020 Bihar results, Upendra Kushwaha now barely has any choice left but to join his former mentor Nitish Kumar, after failing to challenge the JD(U) chief. RLSP, which was part of an alliance with BSP and AIMIM, could not win any seats even though it got over 10,000 to 40,000 votes in over 40 seats. As Nitish and Kushwaha share the same OBC Koeri-Kurmi vote base, it would be no surprise if they rejoin forces.
However, a source in the JD(U) said, “As Kushwaha has served as a Union minister and was member of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in the past, he may not feel comfortable in becoming MLC.”
A JD(U) source said the communication channel between Kushwaha and Kumar opened after Kushwaha criticised RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav for his personal attack on the Bihar CM during the Assembly session.
After a senior state JD(U) leader called Kushwaha, Nitish reportedly invited the RLSP chief for a “homecoming”.
The RLSP chief hinted at his growing proximity with Nitish during his party’s two-day review meeting, which ended on December 3 in Patna. “In pre-election circumstances, people neither wanted Nitish nor Tejashwi. But circumstances later gave people choice between these two, people preferred Nitish,” he said.
Snehlata Kushwaha made a public appearance at the review meeting for the first time and in her speech asked party workers to either toe the party line or make their choice.
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