Patna: Describing the coming together of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad as “unprincipled and opportunist”, Union minister Upendra Kushwaha today said handshake of the two “rejected” leaders would have no impact in politics of Bihar.
“Zero plus zero is always equal to zero,” he told reporters reacting on growing proximity of old rivals Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad and indication of their contesting Bihar Assembly poll next year together.
Kushwaha, friend-turned foe of Nitish Kumar, came down heavily on him and said he has compromised with principles by joining hands with RJD chief against whose alleged “jungle raj” we fought under Kumar for 15 years.
He dismissed Kumar’s argument that handshake with Prasad was necessitated to strengthen secular forces against BJP.
“Truth is that the two are together in view of their shifting political ground in Bihar,” Kushwaha, who is president of Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), an ally of BJP, said.
In the Lok Sabha polls, out of the 40 seats in Bihar, the BJP won 22 while its allies LJP got six and RLSP three while JD(U) could win only two and RJD got four seats.
Kushwaha, who won recent Lok Sabha poll from Karakat in Bihar, reminded Nitish Kumar of his old saying that he was not a substitute of Lalu Prasad but an alternative to him.
He said joining of hands of “Bade bhai (Lalu Prasad) and Chotte bhai (Nitish Kumar)” was not in interest of people but has been triggered by their personal interest.
Flanked by RLSP MPs Arun Kumar and Ram Kumar Sharma, Kushwaha said BJP, LJP and RLSP would sweep the Bihar Assembly election next year and JD(U) as well RJD would be again humbled.
RJD state General Secretary and its spokesman Lallan Paswan and ex-MLA Raghav Prasad joined RLSP on the occasion.
In reply to a question on increase in rail fare and freight, Kushwaha said it was an old decision of UPA which has been executed.
Asked about implementation of Indira Awas yojna by Bihar government, Kushwaha, who is Minister of State for Rural Development and Drinking Water, charged the JD(U) government in Bihar with not utilising vast fund sent by the Centre under the scheme.