IN a clear indication that RLSP is drifting away from the NDA and closer to the RJD-led Grand Alliance in Bihar, Union Minister and RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha on Monday met former MP and Loktantrik Janta Dal chief Sharad Yadav in Delhi. The meeting comes at a time when the RLSP is locked in a tussle with its NDA partner JD(U) and has been seeking the BJP’s intervention.
After meeting Yadav, Kushwaha told reporters, “Nitish Kumar has been out to cause damage to us. We are not going to suffer though…We are still with NDA and want BJP to intervene.”
Kushwaha parried questions on whether RLSP is joining the Grand Alliance.
The BJP, meanwhile, has stood by Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar after Kushwaha alleged that Kumar referred to him as “neech (low bred)” in a recent statement. Senior BJP leader and Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said, “Nitish Kumar never used “neech” word. I was present at the function. Some people are trying to become a martyr but they will not succeed.”
A BJP source said, “It has been part of the BJP ploy to let JD (U) deal with RLSP. Now that both RLSP MLAs are likely to crossover to JD (U), Kushwaha has lost his moral authority of any command over his own party. We cannot offer him more than two seats. With NItish returning, we can do without Kushwaha, who could not prove his worth during the 2015 Assembly polls. RLSP won all three Lok Sabha seats it contested in 2014 only because of the Narendra Modi wave.”