Upendra Kushwaha Meets Amit Shah, Sparks Speculations Of Political Realignment In Bihar
Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the chief of the newly formed political outfit Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal (RLJD) Upendra Kushwaha met on Thursday (20 April), fuelling rumours of RLJD joining the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the upcoming polls.
The meeting, also attended by RLJD secretary general Madhav Anand and former president of Bihar state BJP Sanjay Jaiswal, lasted for 45 minutes.
Speaking to ANI about the Kushwaha meeting, Anand on Thursday said, “it was a courtesy meeting. Whenever two leaders meet, the political issues of the day do come up for discussion. So, I won’t say that the political scenario in Bihar wasn’t discussed at the meeting today. The discussions revolved around state politics and the all-round development of Bihar.”
Kushwaha, a former Janata Dal (United) leader and widely considered to be Nitish Kumar’s protege, left the party in February this year, to field his own outfit RLJD.
Kushwaha is considered a prominent leader of the Koeri-Kurmi community in Bihar, which is numerically significant on several seats in Bihar. Kushwaha could fill the gap left by Nitish Kumar after he left the NDA in August last year, and help consolidate the votes of the OBC and Dalit communities.
When asked about a possible alliance between RLJD and the BJP in the future, Anand said, “Politics is the art of the possible. We are against the policies of Nitish Kumar. But as of now, there are no discussions on joining the NDA. However, what we can say for sure is that the Home Minister has a clear vision for Bihar’s development. This bodes well for the state and its people.”
Kushwaha was allegedly upset with the return of Nitish Kumar into the mahagthbandhan fold and being looked over for the post of deputy chief minister in the state, which ultimately went to Tejaswi Yadav of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
BJP would also be looking at the upcoming Lok Sabha elections of 2024 and hoping to repeat its performance of 2019, where the NDA won 39 out of the 40 seats in the state.
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