Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief Upendra Kushwaha on Sunday said Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar will betray his ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, reported PTI.
“I want to tell BJP people that Nitish Kumar has been known for disrespecting the people’s mandate,” he told reporters. “Betraying people’s mandate and alliance partners are his old habits...BJP people should be ready to witness ‘Dhokha number 2’. Aisa koi saga nahi jisko Nitish ne thaga nahi [There is nobody who has not been cheated by Nitish].”
Kushwaha’s comments come on a day when Kumar expanded his Cabinet by inducting eight new ministers, all from the Janata Dal (United). Kumar offered only one position to ally Bharatiya Janata Party, but the saffron party has decided not to take it yet.
Last week, the JD(U) had opted to stay out of the new Union Cabinet after the BJP-led government allotted the party only one ministerial berth. Kumar had then said that his party was not upset and very much with the National Democratic Alliance. Kushwaha said Kumar’s decision to not join the Modi cabinet reminded him of “sour grapes’’.
Kushwaha’s party is a former ally of the BJP. He snapped ties with the saffron party in 2013 after Narendra Modi was made the BJP’s campaign committee chairperson for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Later, Kumar allied with Kumar’s JD(U), Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress to form the Grand Alliance in Bihar. The alliance won the Assembly elections in the state in 2015. However, two years later, Kumar pulled out of the Grand Alliance and joined hands with the BJP.
Kushwaha, however, said he would support Chief Minister Kumar in his demand for special status for Bihar. “Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should continue to raise demand for special economic status for Bihar and he can count on my support in this regard,” he said, according to Patna Daily. “He should take a delegation of all parties from Bihar to Delhi to build pressure on the Modi government.”
Kushwaha refused to hold RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav responsible for his party and its allies crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. Instead, he said it was because the BJP “misled the people of the country as part of their conspiracy to deflect attention from actual issues”. In the Lok Sabha elections, the JD(U) won 16 seats and the BJP secured 17 in Bihar. The parties’ other ally, the Lok Janshakti Party, had won six seats. The opposition’s alliance won only one Lok Sabha seat.
He said they have learnt a lesson. “We will be cautious and aware of their [BJP’s] conspiracy in elections,” he said. “We may be down but we are not out and soon we would go on a statewide tour to talk to people to find out what led to our party’s loss in the state.” Kushwaha said the alliance of RJD, Congress, RLSP and Hindustani Awam Morcha in Bihar will remain intact in future.