NDA ally Rashtriya Lok Samata Party president Upendra Kushwaha said Saturday the BJP’s offer of seats to his party for the 2019 general election was “not respectable”.
He did not disclose the number of seats offered to the RLSP, saying he would not speak about it before a seat-sharing agreement is reached by NDA constituents in Bihar by November 30.
Kushwaha, the Union minister of state for HRD, was speaking to reporters after the RLSP state executive meeting here.
The RLSP chief is at loggerheads with Nitish Kumar over the Bihar chief minister’s recent remarks against him. Kumar, also the JD(U) president, had refused to join issue with Kushwaha over seat-sharing between NDA partners in Bihar, saying “Itna neeche baat ko nahi le jaiye” (do not take the debate to such a low level.
Kushwaha appears to have picked up the word “neeche” from the statement and took it as an insult to himself as the RLSP chief was the topic of discussion. He alleged that the remark was tantamount to calling him a lowly person.
He has also targeted BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi for defending Kumar, signalling his growing isolation within the coalition.
When asked about this, he had said, “I am in the NDA as of now.”
Kushwaha, whose efforts to meet BJP president Amit Shah over the issue have not yielded results, said he will try to speak to “no other BJP leader except the prime minister.”
Bihar has a total of 40 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP and the JD(U) have decided to contest equal number of seats. The fourth partner of the NDA in Bihar is Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party.