Friday, March 31, 2023

Kushwaha quits JD(U) again, floats yet another party

Disgruntled JD(U) leader Upendra Kushwaha on Monday resigned from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), less than two years after returning to the party, and announced formation of the ‘Rashtriya Loktantrik Janata Dal’.
JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias “Lalan”, however, berated the former parliamentary board chairman as an over-ambitious party-hopper, whose return was “opposed by all, but materialised only at the insistence of the CM” whom Kushwaha had assured “I will now live and die here”.
Kushwaha, who has been venting spleen against Kumar for some time, also announced that he will be seeking an appointment with chairman of the legislative council to resign from his membership of the House, adding with rhetorical flourish “‘zameer bechkar amir nahin banenge’ (I cannot barter my conscience for perks)”. He alleged that Kumar, his political benefactor, had “pawned his political capital (‘rajneetik sampatti ko girwi rakh diya’) by having hinted that Tejashwi Yadav shall be the future leader of the coalition”, which JD(U) had joined nearly six months ago.
Lalan, however, pointed out that Kushwaha, who then headed the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), had aligned with the RJD after quitting the NDA in 2018, “and he appeared to be fine with Tejashwi Yadav back then”. The JD(U) chief also rubbished Kushwaha’s allegation that Kumar, the party’s de facto leader, no more exercised his own judgement, but acted on the advice of a coterie with vested interests.
“Had it been so, Kushwaha could have never returned to the JD(U) in 2021. Not a single person was in favour of his return, since all knew about his vaulting ambition that causes him to go astray. But, the CM put his foot down since he trusted Kushwaha’s declamation – ‘jeena marna ab sab yaheen hai’,” Lalan said.
“The problem is Kushwaha cannot think of anything less than the chief minister’s chair for himself. This had led him to quit the NDA and fancy his chances with the RJD-led ‘Mahagathbandhan’. “He could not stay there as well and ahead of 2020 assembly polls, he formed a hurried coalition with Mayawati’s BSP and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM just because these parties agreed to announce him the chief ministerial candidate,” the JD(U) chief said.
May Kushwaha last long enough wherever he now goes, though this seems unlikely because of the “deformation” his personality has undergone due to “uncontrollable ambition”, Lalan added, mockingly.
Kushwaha minced no words while giving vent to his frustration over Yadav taking centre-stage, but maintained, “I would have been okay with Kumar not projecting me as the future leader had he chosen anybody from within the party, belonging to the ‘Luv Kush’ samaj (Kurmis and Koeris) or the Extremely Backward Classes who form the JD(U)’s support base.”
The former Union minister, who had resigned from the Narendra Modi government shortly ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, remained evasive on the question of a possible realignment with the BJP.
“I have learnt some lessons from big brother Nitish Kumar”, Kushwaha remarked cryptically, referring to the chief minister’s resignation in 2017 when he had walked out of the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ and formed a new government with the NDA hours later.
Kushwaha also admitted that he would now seek to galvanise disgruntled elements in the JD(U), which he had last quit in 2013 to float RLSP, only to merge it back eight years later.
He had been striking notes of discord ever since the CM made it clear that he intended to have nobody, besides Yadav, as his deputy.
This was followed, shortly afterwards, by a visit to Delhi of Kushwaha apparently for medical reasons, and photographs of lower-rung BJP leaders meeting him at hospital had gone viral on social media.
Kumar has since made it clear that Kushwaha had become a persona non grata, “free to go wherever he pleases, as soon as he wishes” while underscoring the “respect” the latter was given in the JD(U).


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