Top Stories

Kushwaha joins UPA, Paswan wavers

Amit Shah, Jaitely meet Ram Bilas after Chirag’s oblique threat to quit NDA

Bihar politics on Thursday “heated” up as former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha joined the State mahagathbhandhan and BJP chief Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called on NDA partner and Cabinet Minister Ram Vilas Paswan after his son Chirag made “threatening” noises leading to speculation that Paswan may be planning to dump the NDA. After the Congress won the three Hindi heartland States of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has focused his attention on strengthening the Bihar mahagatbandhan. Rahul was personally involved in persuading Kuswaha to walk out of the NDA. On Thursday, Rahul met with RJD leader Tejashvi Yadav, Kuswaha and former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. The announcement of Kushwaha joining the mahagathbandhan of Opposition parties in Bihar came at a press conference at the party headquarters here in the presence of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, AICC Bihar incharge Shaktisinh Gohil, Tejashwi Yadav, Sharad Yadav, and Jitan Ram Manjhi, who heads the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular). Welcoming Kushwaha into the grand alliance, the leaders said they will “together throw the BJP out of power” and will work towards mitigating the plight of the people of Bihar and the country. Kushwaha said the main reason behind his quitting the NDA was the failure of the Modi Government to fulfil the promises made to the people of Bihar, besides the “insult” he suffered within the NDA. He said an “aakrosh march” will be taken out in Patna on February 2 in which various like-minded parties would participate. Kushwaha lauded Rahul for coming to the aid of farmers and youths and said the Congress president does what he says. RJD leader Tejashwi said “this is a union of hearts and not of parties” and asserted that the weather in the country is changing. Even before the NDA could recover from the setback of losing Kuswaha, Paswan has added to its worry. His son has made a series of tweets cautioning the BJP of consequences if the issues with allies were not resolved soon. Chirag has also raised a question mark over the plight of farmers and issue of unemployment and also criticized the raking up of Ram temple issue. Incidentally, during the last 24 hours every time he was asked if the LJP can walk out of the NDA, Chirag didn’t dismiss the possibility and merely said, “It’s too early to reach any conclusion.” Against this backdrop, the BJP leadership reached out to the sulking ally with Amit Shah and Jaitley holding talks with Paswan and Chirag in the presence of Bihar Congress in charge Bhupendra Yadav. Sources said that BJP has offered six seats to Paswan, one less than the LJP contested in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. It’s obvious that with such an offer, Paswan could have been expected to dispel any doubt about his differences with the NDA. His silence after meeting Shah and Jaitley shows that he is keeping his options open. In an interview, Chirag indicated his complete discomfort with the BJP by stating that seat sharing is not the issue but he is unhappy over factors like plight of farmers, unemployment, and price hike. Earlier, Chirag had written a letter to the Prime Minister and Jaitley, asking about the benefits of demonetization. Recently, Ram Vilas Paswan said while the Congress raised issues of farmers and unemployment, we (NDA) stayed tangled in religion and temples. Sources said Nitish Kumar has backed Paswan and will be in Delhi to convey the BJP leadership to “honor the commitment to Ram Vilas Paswan” as losing him would effectively mean conceding Bihar to the Opposition coalition. “Joint efforts and collective strength of existing and potential NDA allies is key to the success in upcoming 2019 elections. All key constituents of the coalition must work towards this,” tweeted Prashant Kishor, the Bihar CM’s close aide and strategist about the Nitish Kumar Delhi mission. More than the number of seats, it is the question of “winnability” with the NDA that may be haunting Paswan. The upper castes are reportedly unhappy with the Dalit leader for taking strident stand against diluting the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. In this scenario, Paswan will be more comfortable with the RJD if he wants to retain his strengthen of six MPs in the Lok Sabha. Read more posts… Friday, 21 December 2018 | Deepak Kumar Jha | New Delhi–

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button