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Kushwaha says he will further speak on NDA seat-sharing only

Press Trust of India  |  Patna 

Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, who had served an ultimatum to the NDA last week for coming up with a "respectable" seat-sharing formula by November 30, said on Thursday that he would maintain silence till then and will speak after that date based on the response he gets.

He declined to comment on queries of journalists, who approached him at the airport where he boarded a flight to New Delhi, regardimg fate of the seat-sharing after he publically declined the BJP offer of "unrespectable" number of seats to his party Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) in Bihar.

"I will keep quiet till November 30. I will speak only after that date, based on the response that I get", he said.

Asked about his wife's tour of his Karakat Lok Sabha constituency which had triggered speculations of her fighting from the seat in 2019, Kushwaha remarked wryly "why do you want me displaced"?

RLSP as an ally of the BJP in the NDA had won three seats in the 2014 general election.

The recent announcement of BJP and the JD(U) fighting equal number of a total of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar has reportedly left it to settle for a lower number of seats in the coalition.

Kushwaha had launched an attack on JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar. He also met RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Sharad Yadav signalling his dissatisfaction within the coalition.

Meanwhile, rebel RLSP MP, Arun Kumar, on Thursday called on mahagathbandhan leader Jitan Ram Manjhi and asserted that his aim was to dislodge Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi from power for which he was even willing to "drink poison".

Kumar, who represents Jehanabad Lok Sabha segment, had been suspended from the party following differences with RLSP chief and Union minister Upendra Kushwaha.

After floating a parallel outfit and unsuccessful attempts at seeking recognition for the same as the "real RLSP", Kumar has changed tack and sided with Kushwaha.

Emerging after the meeting held at Manjhi's residence in presence of a number of HAM leaders, Kumar told reporters "my principal aim is to dislodge Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi from power as both are destroying Bihar together".

"To achieve this end, I am willing to drink poison and ally with anybody. We were part of the struggle against Lalu Prasad when the fodder scam had come to the fore. However, the animal husbandry scam was worth Rs 1,000 crore only. Nitish and Sushil are responsible for the Srijan scam which is infinitely larger in magnitude", the Jehanabad MP alleged.

Manjhi is former chief minister of Bihar and president of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), which has joined hands with the RJD and the Congress to constitute mahagathbandhan against BJP-led NDA in next year general election.

Asked about his spat with Kushwaha, the MP said he never had any ill-will against the Union minister "but some people with vested interests had created misunderstandings between him and me".

Talking to reporters separately, Manjhi said "I have been saying this to Kushwaha for long - stop riding in two boats as you may end up sinking. It is high time that he took the final decision and joined the Mahagathbandhan which is ready to welcome him with open arms".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 22 2018. 20:35 IST