PATNA: It was publicized as a meeting of the four components of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar, aimed at showing a show of unity. The event organized to commemorate the four years of central government was supposed to be a group of leaders of the BJP, JD (U), LJP and RLSP highlighting the center’s achievements, followed by a dinner. In the end, all that happened was dinner. There were no speeches from any of the leaders who chose not to speak to the media.
The president of RLSP, Upendra Kushwaha, also minister of the union, kept away citing other commitments, choosing to send some of his main aides.
The meeting convened by the BJP state for better coordination among the allies comes before the talks to share seats for next year’s general election.
It comes against the backdrop of the discordant voices of the JD (U) and the BJP over who — Prime Minister Nitish Kumar or Prime Minister Narendra Modi — should be projected as the NDA faced in the state for the Lok polls Sabha 2019. The JD (U) has demanded that Mr. Kumar be the face of the coalition in Bihar.
Today, the RLSP played a jarring note. Hours before the meeting, the worker president of the party said that Mr. Kushwaha should be in his place. He went a step further and said his party leader should also be projected as the main ministerial candidate for the upcoming assembly elections in Bihar due in 2020.
“Given the current circumstances, it is not possible for the NDA to win elections by projecting Nitish Kumar.” After the Yadav vote, Kushwa represents 10 percent of Bihar’s electorate, asking Nitish Kumar how many votes he can get, “said Mr. Nagmani .
It is said that Mr. Kushwaha is upset about the treatment of his party. After the recent results of the campaign, BJP chief Amit Shah called the head of the LJP, Ram Vilas Paswan, but has not had any communication with Kushwaha, whose party had won three Lok Sabha seats in 2014, one seat more than JD (U) by Nitish Kumar. I was then in the opposition alliance.
Last year, Mr. Kumar severed ties with RJD of Lalu Yadav and rejoined the NDA.
“There is a question mark about NItish Kumar, what is the guarantee that he will not return to the RJD? We can not accept him as the leader of the coalition,” said Mr. Nagmani, claiming that no government can be formed in Bihar without RLSP support.
Dinner was also attended by Mr. Kumar, Deputy Prime Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, LJP Chief Ram Vilas Paswan and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“The NDA unit is very strong, today they have seen it, this unit will take Bihar forward on the path of development,” said Mr. Prasad.