RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha
RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha
File Photo - PTI

Patna: Political equations in Bihar could take a new turn after RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha met with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Bhola Sharma, official spokesperson of RLSP confirmed the close door meeting between two leaders in Patna.

"There is a possibility of new political equations in Bihar after both the leaders met on Thursday. We have no regimen with NDA. Upendra Kushwaha and CM Nitish Kumar worked together in the past and if NDA government will work on the line of social justice and welfare of the people of Bihar, we will go with it," Sharma told IANS.

Sharma however denied that RLSP would merge with JD-U.

Sources said that Nitish Kumar is pleased with Kushwaha after the latter had criticised RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on November 27, the last day of Bihar Assembly session. On that day, Nitish Kumar and Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav were involved in a heated exchange of words. Kushwaha had criticised Tejashwi for making a personal attack on the Chief Minister.

Kushwaha was earlier an important leader of JD-U until his relation soured with Nitish Kumar. He had resigned from central ministry in 2016 after BJP joined hand with JD-U to form the government in Bihar.

Kushwaha's meeting with Kumar has bigger political implications. JD-U has lost political ground in recent Bihar election with depleting popularity of Nitish Kumar among backward castes and minority community. The party has faced serious challanges in Seemanchal region. JD-U is politically weak in current NDA government as it has just 43 seats. BJP has 74 seats and has the upper hand despite Nitish Kumar being the CM.

Kushwaha on the other hand joined hands with AIMIM and BSP in the election. Though Kushwaha's party was unable to win a single seat in the election but its alliance partners especially AIMIM gave a good show and won 5 seats. BSP also managed to bag one seat. Moreover, these parties have cut sizable votes of parties like JD-U, RJD and BJP.

Nitish Kumar wants to gain lost ground through Kushwaha. Sources have said that he could be elected as MLC on JD-U quota and also get a ministerial birth.

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