Wed, 25 Jan 2023 09:01 PM IST
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said JDU leader Upendra Kushwaha can leave the party whenever he wants, indicating that the former RLSP leader is planning to join old ally BJP. Kushwaha, who is currently JDU's Parliamentary Board President, has been displaying his dissatisfaction with the party.
The troubled relations were on full public display when an angry Nitish Kumar appeared unwilling to even hear Kushwaha's name as the journalists raised questions over their conflict.
"Don't ask me about him. He is in touch with the BJP and alleging that we are in contact with the saffron party. He is free and independent to go anywhere. No one would stop him," he said.
Kushwaha had returned to JDU in 2021, eight years after quitting the party. Last year, he merged his Rashtriya Lok Samata Party in JDU and was immediately given a berth in the legislative council.
Responding to allegations by Kushwaha Kumar's party was weakening, the Bihar Chief Minister said, "Kushwaha is saying the JD-U is weakening in Bihar, I want to tell him to go and celebrate it. He does not know our party has been turning out stronger than before. There are 75 lakh people associated with the JD-U in Bihar."
"Whatever Kushwaha has claimed was absolutely false. We have promoted every leader who joined our party but they either worked against it or left it."
Reacting on the Chief Minister's statement, Kushwaha demanded a "stake" but did not clarify on its nature or whether it was in the party or government. "Well said, elder brother. If the younger brother would leave like this, it would be easy for the elder brother to grab the parental properties. How could I leave without taking my stake," he tweeted.
The relationship between the mentor and protégé took an ugly turn when Kumar vehemently denied media reports that Kushwaha could become a Deputy CM. Kumar also made it clear that RJD's Tejashwi Yadav would continue to hold the post.