Unhappy with BJP’s seat-sharing plan, RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha meets Sharad Yadav

The RLSP, which had fought three seats in 2014 and won all, is unlikely to be spared more than two seats

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New Delhi: Upendra Kushwaha, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief, met Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav in New Delhi on Monday as the issue of seat sharing ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year in Bihar has become contentious among the NDA’s alliance partners.

The meeting between Kushwaha, a Union minister of state as a member of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and former Janata Dal (United) leader Yadav also came amid speculation that the ruling party in Bihar could poach one of his legislators.

In a tweet, Kushwaha described the meeting as a courtesy call. He has often asserted that he would work to get Narendra Modi elected as prime minister for another term but his unease with Kumar and meetings with opposition leaders, including RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, have sparked speculation about his future course.

Yadav had snapped ties with Kumar after the JD(U) chief joined hands with the BJP last year, and he was working to rally the opposition against the saffron party.

Kushwaha has expressed reservations to the BJP president Amit Shah’s proposal that both his party and Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP contest a fewer number of seats in 2019 than they did in 2014 so that Kumar’s JD(U) could be allotted as many seats as the saffron party fights.

The RLSP, which had fought three seats in 2014 and won all, is unlikely to be spared more than two seats.

An old rival of Kumar, Kushwaha had also attacked the chief minister for allegedly insulting him and had targeted him again Sunday over reports that two MLAs of his party may join the JD(U).

He had said he would apprise Shah of the “humiliation” he had suffered at the hands of Kumar and also request him to clear the confusion over seat-sharing among the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituents in the state at the earliest.

He also made a jibe at Kumar, saying the JD(U)president had an expertise in breaking parties but he would continue with his fight.