Upendra Kushwaha's continuous attack on Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has made it evident that he is trying to find an escape route from the NDA, after the BJP leadership offered two Lok Sabha seats for his party RSLP out of 40 seats in Bihar for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
On Sunday, in a public meeting organised by his party in Muzzafarpur, Kushwaha had attacked Nitish Kumar for calling him 'neech'. Kushwaha has decided to write a letter to Amit Shah regarding the issue. "I am extremely hurt that Nitishji called me 'neech'. I am going to write a letter to BJP president Amit Shah to take cognizance of this so that Nitish Kumar is asked to take back his statement. He should make both me and Nitishji sit together and make him apologize. I will not write a letter to Nitishji, but through you (Shah) he would know what I have felt."
He also said that Kushwaha Mahasabha has called for an 'akrosh march' against Nitish Kuar on November 10.
On Saturday during an event pertaining to the development model in Bihar in Patna the Bihar CM was asked to respond to Upendra Kushwaha's comment where he had said that Kumar did not want to continue as the chief minister of Bihar post-2020 assembly elections. Nitish Kumar replied, "Do not lower the level of discussion (Discussion ka sthar neecha mat girayein)". Following this, Kushwaha gave a political twist to Nitish Kumar's statement, presumably, to send a message across the voters.
He went on to say, "Nitishji has called me 'neech'. I want to ask my elder brother Nitishji that is Upendra Kushwaha 'neech' because he raises the issue of the downtrodden and the poor, and the issue of social justice and better education for all. We are from the same family (like) luv and kush... how can the two brothers be unch and neech?"
Kushwaha is continuously mounting pressure on the BJP for a larger share in terms of seats for his party. He also denied any truck with RJD and called Tejashwi a trainee.
Kushwaha said that his party deserves more seats than last time. "The numbers should be disclosed as soon as possible and my party RSLP deserves more seat than 2014 since the base of my party has increased manifold, and it would be better if the seat share and the leadership issue of assembly elections 2020 be settled now."
"Meeting Tejashwi was by chance. It was not planned." On being asked 'Will you join UPA', he said, "I will never join hands with Lalu Yadav as he is history and he cannot fight elections...and Tejaswi is a trainee and want to see Narendra Modi as PM of the country for another 5 years".
While the JD(U) has refused to comment on Kushwaha's statement, it has not gone down well with the RJD.
Bhai Birendra, RJD MLA, said that Tejashwi is a mature leader and the future CM of Bihar and people of Bihar have accepted him as their leader. "He is not a trainee leader... nobody should underestimate him," he said.
Kushwaha has decided to play the waiting game till BJP chief Amit Shah announces the number of seats each party would contest. Nitish Kumar and Amit Shah had announced that BJP and JD(U) would contest an equal number of seats and sources say that seat share would be 17 each for BJP and JD(U), four for LJP, leaving two for RSLP.
BJP does not want Kushwaha to become a martyr, which is the reason behind the delay in the announcement of the seat share. Hence, Kushwaha has decided to attack Nitish Kumar for a better bargain and at the same time hold backchannel negotiations with RJD by raising the issue of leadership for 2020 assembly elections.
Kushwaha has made his ambitions clear for becoming the chief ministerial face in the future. He claims that he wants to see Narendra Modi as PM for another five years. But his attack on Nitish for the third time within a week suggests that he wants to emerge as an alternative to Nitish Kumar within NDA.