Patna: Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) president Upendra Kushwaha on Friday called Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad as “two sides of the same coin” and said the three-party front formed by them is meant to provide the people of state a “positive choice” and not to “spoil” votes of any alliance. Also Read - Bihar Elections 2020: 'Did Nothing For Women But Installed Wife on Chair', Nitish Slams Lalu
“People of Bihar want an end to 15 years of “misrule” under Kumar, while the RJD-led Grand Alliance does not have a “strong face” for the chief ministerial post. Besides people have not forgotten 15-year reign of Lalu Prasad’s party in the state,” Kushwaha said. Also Read - Will Need Trump's Assurance: Paswan's Sarcastic Remark at Nitish on LJP's Ties With BJP
RJD’s rule from 1990 to 2005 has always been criticised for poor law and order situation plus lack of any development initiatives. Also Read - Bihar Elections: Congress Leader Imran Pratapgarhi's Stage Collapses, No Injuries Reported
“People do not have confidence in Nitish Kumar and they don’t want to go with the RJD as they are two sides of the same coin…in such a situation we have come out with a front of the three parties to give a positive choice to the people,” Kushwaha told PTI-Bhasha in an interview.
After being spurned by the NDA and discarded by the RJD- helmed mahagathbandhan, Kushwaha has forged an alliance with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party and a non-descript Janatantrik Party (Socialist) ahead of Bihar polls.
BSP supremo Mayawati has even announced that her party would be supporting Kushwaha as the candidate for post of chief minister in Bihar, an assertion which is being scoffed at by the ruling NDA in Bihar as well as the grand alliance comprising RJD, Congress and others.
Replying to a question on leaving the grand alliance, the former Union minister said “the present leadership of the RJD is not strong enough to remove Nitish Kumar from power and its chief ministerial candidate (Tejashwi Yadav) is no match to him (Kumar).”
In the absence of Lalu Prasad, who is in jail in Ranchi after being convicted in four cases of multi-crore rupees fodder scam, his younger son Tejashwi Yadav is commanding the party along with his mother Rabri Devi.
“Had the opposition coalition made some decision on an another face for the chief ministerial post it would have helped in removing Kumar from power…but unfortunately this did not happen,” the RLSP chief said.
“In such a circumstance I thought instead of getting wiped out in the polls its better to form another alliance to give a choice to people of Bihar,” he added.
Asked if his separate alliance would divide votes of the opposition grouping and help the ruling NDA, he said “our front is neither to spoil anybody’s vote or indirectly help another. We have come in the field to give a viable option to the voters.”
Replying to whether he had any talks on tie-up with the LJP of Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan, which appears uncomfortable in the ruling coalition and has been taking potshots at Kumar, Kushwaha said “LJP has not made its stand clear. If Chirag Paswan decides to walk out of the alliance, then we will talk.”
“If LJP comes with us we will be able to give an even stronger positive choice to the people of Bihar,” he said.
Kushwaha’s political move has forced some leaders of his own party to say goodbye to him.
Its Bihar unit president Bhudev Chaudhary has joined RJD and another top leader Madhaw Anand tendered resignation from the party two days later.
On the desertions, Kushwaha said, “It’s better that people are getting down from the ship before it sails deep in the sea.”
(With PTI inputs)