Cracks in the NDA in Bihar are out in open, with Union Minister and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) leader Upendra Kushwaha accusing Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of targeting him, following reports of the JD(U) wooing two of his legislators.Mr. Kushwaha’s comments came minutes after his meeting with the opposition leader and former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav. Mr. Yadav had walked out of the party last year after Mr. Kumar joined hands again with the BJP. Since then he has been rallying opposition parties to form an anti-BJP front.“Nitish Kumar has a habit of breaking parties. I do not know why he has come down to destroy me and my party. But no matter what he does, he cannot harm me,” Mr. Kushwaha told reporters with Mr. Yadav standing by him.His meeting with Mr. Yadav has given rise to speculations that he may finally be switching sides. Calling Mr. Yadav, his marg darshak or guide, he said the meeting was merely to discuss issues related to social justice. Apart from his differences with Mr. Kumar, Mr. Kushwaha has been unhappy with seat sharing formula evolved by the BJP. In 2014, RLSP contested and won three seats. But in 2019, he may get only two seats.He had earlier met with Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav.The latest outburst against JD(U) chief is because of reports that RLSP MLA Sudhanshu Shekhar met newly appointed JD(U) vice-president Prashant Kishor. He along with another legislator Lalan Paswan are rumoured to switch loyalities to the JD(U).Mr. Kushwaha said the BJP must intercede in the ongoing tussle between him and Bihar Chief Minister. “We are both in NDA and we are supposed to work together. I do not think Nitishji should do all of this,” he said. He has also sought a meeting with BJP President Amit Shah to raise the issue of his “humiliations”. He has alleged that Mr Kumar referred to him as neech (low born) in one of his interactions with reporters.The BJP however, is in no mood to back him against the JD(U). In a direct snub, Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi tweeted, “Nitish Kumar never used the word NEECH in his interaction with media .I was present in the programme . Still some leaders trying to become martyr but will not succeed.”
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday said by tying up with former Leader of the Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Taksali leaders have proved themselves to be the Congress ‘B-team’.Taksali (old guard) leaders MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Sewa Singh Sekhwan and Rattan Singh Ajnala had formed SAD (Taksali) party after raising a banner of revolt against the SAD leadership. SAD (Taksali) is now part of the Punjab Democratic Alliance which comprises Khaira’s Punjabi Ekta Party, Bains brothers and suspended AAP MP Dharmvira Gandhi. “The so called Taksali leaders have proved that they are the B-team of the Congress by tying up with another closeted Congressman Sukhpal Singh Khaira,” Mr. Badal alleged. Interacting with party workers at Attari and Baba Bakala, the SAD president said however much Mr. Brahmpura may deny his Congress links, the tie-up with former AAP leader Khaira has proved that he as well as Mr. Sekhwan and Mr. Ajnala were working as per the “Congress party’s agenda”.‘Conspiracy hatched’ “Mr. Brahmpura hatched a conspiracy during a meeting with the Chief Mnister. However he denies this… but the people will never forgive him for betraying his ‘panthic’ past to become a Congress agent,” he alleged.