The Lok Janshakti Party on Monday criticised Rashtriya Lok Samata Party president and Union minister Upendra Kushwaha for resorting to “pressure tactics” to finalise a seat-sharing arrangement between allies of the National Democratic Alliance in Bihar ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, reported PTI.
The Lok Janshakti Party and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party are part of the NDA in Bihar, along with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Janata Dal (United).
“By setting a deadline and taking a stand that you [Kushwaha] will not talk to anybody except the prime minister, you are taking recourse to pressure tactics,” said Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan. “Besides, he keeps on speaking against the chief minister [Nitish Kumar]. You cannot go on speaking against NDA constituents while being a part of the coalition. It is like rowing in two boats.”
On November 18, Kushwaha gave the Bharatiya Janata Party time till November 30 to announce a “respectable seat-sharing” arrangement in the state for the Lok Sabha elections. He warned that the NDA led by Narendra Modi will have to pay a “heavy price” if the impasse over seat-sharing continued.
Since he met Opposition leader Sharad Yadav on November 12, there has been speculation about Kushwaha breaking away from the NDA over his differences with Kumar regarding the proposed seat-sharing arrangement. Kushwaha has also accused Kumar of attempting to poach his party’s legislators. He had demanded that the NDA give his party more than three seats in Bihar.
Kushwaha has reportedly sought time to meet Modi between Tuesday and Friday to apprise him of the political situation in Bihar, reported News18. On Sunday, Kushwaha said while he wanted Modi to become the prime minister again in 2019, he “will not tolerate insults”.
‘Will wait for Supreme Court’s verdict on Ayodhya’
Paswan also reiterated his party’s stand on the Ayodhya matter, saying they will wait for the Supreme Court’s verdict. “Construction of Ram temple has always been on BJP’s agenda,” Paswan said. “It has been in the party’s election manifestos. However, even Amit Shah has said he would await the apex court’s hearing on the title suit, due in January.”
Paswan, however, said that all NDA partners should convene for a discussion if the BJP government thinks that an ordinance should be brought to facilitate the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.