After Amit Shah snub, options dwindle for RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha

first_imgOptions are narrowing fast for Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha, who is awaiting a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Mr Kushwaha is likely to announce his future plans — on whether he will continue with the NDA — at a meeting of party office bearers scheduled for early December. Sources close to Mr. Kushwaha told The Hindu that while he had declared that he was waiting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to meet with him and hear his grievances, his failure to secure a meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah was indicative of where the situation was heading. “We are still holding out for an honourable share in the NDA kitty for Bihar, but haven’t received any assurances on that point. The party will be holding a chintan baithak (internal discussion) at Valmiki Nagar in Bihar on December 4 and 5,” said the source.New formationsThe party is in discussions with socialist leader Sharad Yadav’s new party Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) for a merger, and is also in conversation with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for a tie up for the Bihar polls.Earlier last month, Mr. Shah had announced that the BJP and the Janata Dal (U) would be fighting an equal number of Lok Sabha seats in Bihar which has a total of 40 seats, with the rest to be divided between allies— Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party and the RLSP. Mr. Kushwaha, with some cause, is apprehending that his own share would be less than the three seats he was accorded in 2014 when the JD(U) had not been a part of the coalition. “But we haven’t been given any assurance that it was not so,” said a source.Mr Kushwaha has also been facing an internal split in his party, with one MP (out of the three including Mr. Kushwaha), Arun Kumar, making it clear that he did not accept Mr. Kushwaha’s leadership.The RJD, which has been keen for an alliance against the NDA in 2019, which includes the Congress and quite possibly the RLSP, will also negotiate. “We are in conversation with the RLSP but we have our own doubts about vote transference,” said an RJD office bearer. The proposed merger between the RLSP and the LJD is also being closely watched, as Mr Sharad Yadav’s “network in Delhi” is a cause for concern. “Delhi contacts can amplify political strength, even if its not there on the ground,” said the source.The last word on battlelines in Bihar has not been said yet.last_img

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