Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday rejected the claim of its sulking parliamentary board chief Upendra Kushwaha that the party was becoming “weak”. The CM also said the JD(U) would not like to crackdown on Kushwaha.
Speaking to reporters in Patna, Nitish said, “He knew that we had won only 43 seats in assembly polls. If things appeared so bleak to him, he should not have returned. He should remember that his return to the party fructified at my instance since many were not in favour of taking him back”.
‘Kushwaha owes JD(U)’
“Kushwaha should remember that this party has given him a lot. He owes his past stints in assembly and Rajya Sabha and current membership of the legislative council to the JD(U),” Kumar added.
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“Our membership drive has swollen the party ranks from less than 50 lakh to 75 lakh. Our tally fell in 2020 assembly polls since our then ally (BJP) did not support us at all,” Nitish said.
Meeting of like-minded parties
The JD(U) chief also said that he was “waiting” for a meeting of like-minded parties for the Lok Sabha polls next year once Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra is complete.
The JD(U) leader, who has the Congress as a junior ally in Bihar, maintained that he viewed the yatra as a niji (internal) programme of that party, but looked forward to a collaboration in Lok Sabha of all seven constituents of the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance).
Strategy for LS polls
“I am waiting for the yatra to be over and for a meeting of parties (opposed to the BJP) to be convened. There, we shall chalk out the strategy for the Lok Sabha polls which is now not far away,” Kumar told reporters in Patna.
A former NDA ally, Kumar made an abrupt exit in August last year following alleged attempts to split his party, leading to accusations from the BJP that he was betraying peoples’ mandate to fulfil his own national ambitions.
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The JD(U) had blamed its drubbing on a “conspiracy” hatched by the BJP with the help of the then LJP chief Chirag Paswan, who fielded candidates in all seats the CM’s party was contesting and gave tickets to many saffron party rebels.
(With Agency inputs)