Sushil Modi launches a veiled attack on Upendra Kushwaha
Patna, Nov 17: In an apparent snub to sulking RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi Saturday asserted the NDA will "not be browbeaten" and seats will be allotted to constituents for the Lok Sabha polls on the basis of the state's "ground reality".
Sushil Modi's tweet came after Kushwaha expressed his dissatisfaction over the number of seats offered to his party by the BJP.
He served an ultimatum to the saffron party to finalise NDA seat-sharing by November 30 and give a "respectable" count of seats to the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP). The NDA in Bihar comprises the BJP, JD(U), LJP and RLSP.
Sushil Modi, who is a senior state BJP leader, did not mention Kushwaha, a Union minister, by name but said some NDA constituents had become "full of themselves" and "were hobnobbing with chargesheeted leaders of the Mahagathbandhan".
He tweeted in Hindi that the people of the country had rewarded the NDA with a resounding victory in 2014 due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's credibility and his interest in the upliftment of the poor, the Dalits and the backward classes.
"All NDA constituents had played a part but some appear to have become too full of themselves. They are not just violating the coalition dharma but even hobnobbing with chargesheeted leaders of the Mahagathbandhan", he claimed.
"The top leadership of the NDA will not be browbeaten and all constituents will be assigned a seat share keeping the ground reality of Bihar in view. We will win all 40 seats in the state," he added.
The deputy chief minister's remark came in the backdrop of a recent meeting between Kushwaha and RJD heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav, whose party has been trying to woo the RLSP chief with the promise of a respectable share of seats.
Kushwaha and Yadav's meeting was held on October 26, the day when BJP president Amit Shah accompanied by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced that the two parties would contest an equal number of seats in the next year Parliamentary election.
The RLSP national president had, earlier in the day, stated that the number of seats offered to it was "not respectable" and the offer has been "unanimously rejected" by his five-year-old outfit.
Kushwaha had declined to divulge the number of seats that were offered to his party, saying it would not be proper to disclose it until a final decision on seat-sharing was taken.
There were unconfirmed reports that, as per the tentative formula, the RLSP, which has three MPs, would be asked to settle for only two in order to accommodate Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United), which returned to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition last year.
Kushwaha was himself with the JD(U) until his exit from the party in 2013 after which he formed his own outfit. Riding the Modi wave, his party won three seats it contested as an NDA ally in the Lok Sabha polls but fared dismally in the assembly elections the following year.
Out of the more than 20 seats it had contested, the RLSP managed to win only two and both its MLAs - Lalan Paswan and Sudhanshu Shekhar - are said to be in touch with the JD(U), ready to switch sides in the event of Kushwaha walks out of the NDA.