After making public his apprehensions over the 50-50 seat sharing arrangement between the BJP and the JD(U) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) leader Upendra Kushwaha will try to cut a better deal when he meets BJP president Amit Shah in Delhi on Monday.
Kushwaha, whose party contested three seats and won them all in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, has made it clear that he would not accept two seats under any formula as has been reported.
The decision of the BJP, which had won 22 seats in 2014 general elections, to treat JD(U) as an equal partner is also being seen as a snub to Kushwaha, who has been viewing Kumar’s return to the NDA with concern. The JD(U) won a dismal two seats in 2014.
The RLSP is a part of the BJP-led NDA in the state whose other constituents are Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Ramvilas Paswan’s LJP.
Kushwaha’s meeting with opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav, hours after Amit Shah and Nitish Kumar announced that their parties would contest equal number of seats, sparked speculations of political realignment in Bihar.
The very next day, Kushwaha, Union Minister of State for HRD, got a call from Amit Shah requesting the former to visit Delhi for seat sharing discussions. At that time he was on his way to Lakhisarai in Bihar to attend a party function.
“Amit Shah called this morning and requested me to come to Delhi today or tomorrow for talks. But I am busy in party activities. I have said I will be in Delhi on 29th,” Kushwaha
“Nobody knows what does 50-50 mean? Amit Shah has not announced the number. So, let’s see what the proposal is. Whatever numbers are being claimed by the JDU leaders might be their own assumption,” Kushwaha said when asked about seat distribution.
However, RLSP general secretary Madhav Anand clearly said all options are open, including joining another front, if the BJP leadership fails to understand our concerns.
“Nitish Kumar and Amit Shah making public the broad contours of seat sharing has not sent a good signal. It would have been better if all allies had been there. We don’t believe JD(U). If the BJP wants to see Narendra Modi as PM again how can they ignore Kushwaha ji in Bihar,” he said.
A former JD(U) leader, Kushwaha quit the party in 2013, months after suspension on disciplinary grounds. He then floated his o