The Mahagathbandhan in Bihar is clearly in a disarray as another partner in the alliance, the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), is all set to join the BJP-led NDA in the run-up to the assembly election. Previously, former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) had dumped the Mahagathbandhan to join NDA. Lalu Prasad’s RJD had ignored Manjhi’s demand to form a coordination committee for the polls.
The RLSP Principal General Secretary Madhav Anand today slammed the RJD and the Indian National Congress (INC) for creating confusion in the grand alliance over the issue of seat-sharing and declaring the chief ministerial candidate.
“There is a state of confusion in Mahagathbandhan. RJD and Congress are responsible for this. If things are not sorted in the next one or two days, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party will be free to decide on the future course of action. Our party will not remain at a place where we do not get respect,” Madhav Anand said.
The RLSP principal general secretary claimed that the option of his party joining the NDA was open if issues in Mahagathbandhan are not resolved in the next couple of days.
“Politics is all about possibilities. Presently we are with the Mahagathbandhan and want to stay here but as far as joining NDA is concerned, anything is possible,” said Madhav Anand.
The RLSP had much earlier left the NDA over Kushwaha’s desire to get a bigger share in power, notwithstanding the strength of his party.
Kushwaha had indicated to the NDA leadership he was discontented due to the diminishing importance as an ally. His party RLSP abandoned the NDA for want of more seats in Lok Sabha election of 2019.
The NDA leadership was sceptical of Kushwaha’s influence on the Koeri community that he purportedly represents.
The leading party of the Mahagathbandhan, the RJD, might as well have thought that Nitish Kumar anyway has a greater hold on both Koeri and Kurmi castes, and it is beyond Kushwaha’s capabilities to challenge the chief minister of Bihar.
In the 2015 Bihar assembly election, all small constituents of the NDA like Kushwaha’s RLSP (2 out of 23 seats), Manjhi’s HAM (1 out of 21 seats) and Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (2 out of 42 seats) had fared too badly in proportion to the number of seats where they contested.