Shortly after news came that Rashtriya Lok Samta Party leader and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha would be skipping a dinner for NDA allies hosted by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Patna on June 7, the RLSP has now said Kushwaha is the better NDA face for next chief minister of Bihar. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) is currently ruling Bihar in partnership with the BJP.
The statements by RLSP came after Nitish Kumar’s party asserted that he would be the main face of NDA in the 2019 general elections. The projection of Nitish has reportedly angered RLSP.
NDA constituents of Bihar are presently attending a meeting in Patna post the recent Lok Sabha and assembly bypolls in 11 states, in which BJP and NDA allies fared poorly. Besides JD(U) and RLSP, Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP is also part of the NDA in Bihar. Much jockeying is underway among NDA allies over seat-sharing for the next Lok Sabha elections in 2019. RLSP’s latest comments can be seen in this context. The JD(U) has reportedly demanded 25 out of the 40 seats for itself.
“If NDA has to win big in Lok Sabha elections and assembly elections in Bihar then Upendra Kushwaha has to be the Chief Minister. We are not against Nitish Kumar, but in today's circumstances NDA can't win with Nitish as face,” said Nagmani, Working President of RLSP. “We are a bigger party than the JD(U), we have three seats in Lok Sabha and JD(U) has two. We can't accept Nitish Kumar as our leader. He can make a U-turn again and go back to Laluji, can't trust,” added Nagmani.