Former Union Minister and head of Janata Dal United parliamentary board Upendra Kushwaha on Saturday said that since the ‘inception of NDA (National Democratic Alliance) in Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is its face and till the time NDA exists Nitish will be its face.’
“If someone thinks otherwise I request to clear his misunderstanding, such talks create confusion among party workers”, Kushwaha said.
In response to a question he said, ‘though many components of our ideology are similar with the Rashtriya Janata Dal, yet, in practice we are quite different’.
The reaction came in the backdrop of a tirade of a section of state BJP leaders against Nitish Kumar over the violent protest against the Military scheme Agnipath. BJP leaders accused Nitish Kumar for being soft against protestors. However, union minister and senior BJP leader Dharmendra Pardhan recent meeting with Nitish Kumar at later’s residence virtually put a brake on the verbal duel between BJP and JDU leaders.
Pardhan appears to have cautioned the party leaders and called for restraint in their comments against the Bihar CM. BJP leadership does not want to disturb the Bihar equation before the 2024 general election.
It must be mentioned that in recent days the grapevine of closeness of opposition leader Tejashawi Yadav and Nitish Kumar have been doing the rounds in political circles.
On the other hand, BJP is persistently increasing its clout in the state largely on the cost Nitish Kumar’s JDU. Between March 23, to June 29 BJP remained the largest party in the state assembly (RJD recently became the biggest party after four AIMIM MLA switched over to it). JDU has 45 MLAs.
Contrast this with the first successful outing of BJP and JDU in the state after the October 2005 assembly election results. JDU had 88 MLAs while BJP had 55.
Thus, according to political pundits, Upendra Kushwaha’s comment is an enthusiastic celebration for a minor victory.