Nitish Kumar, the chief minister of Bihar, said on Tuesday that he thinks Upendra Kushwaha, a key aide who used to be close to him but is no longer, could be meeting with the BJP.
Kumar was answering questions from reporters about Kushwaha, the disgruntled head of the JD(Uparliamentary )’s board. He said that the party had become “weak” in recent years and that senior leaders in the party were still in touch with the BJP, even though they had a nasty fight in August of last year.
“He should name at least one current leader” (with BJP). “It’s the person who wants to talk to me who is making these claims,” Kumar snapped.
“He can talk nonsense as long as he wants and leave whenever he wants,” said the leader of the JD(U). He also refuted Kushwaha’s claim that the party was getting weaker by saying, “Our strength grew from less than 50 lakhs to 75 lakhs during the last membership drive.”
Eight years after leaving, Kushwaha rejoined the JD(U) in 2021. He did this by merging his Rashtriya Lok Samata Party with the JD(U), and he was quickly given a seat in the legislative council.
Things got bad between the mentor and the student when some of the media said that Kushwaha could become a deputy chief minister. Kumar strongly denied this, saying that Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD would be the only one to hold that position.
Insiders in the JD(U) think that the reports may have been put out by Kushwaha, who is known for being very ambitious.
Last week, Kushwaha went to Delhi for a medical checkup. Pictures of him with some BJP leaders at AIIMS went viral on social media, which people who support Kushwaha see as a “deliberate leak.”
The party snubbed the head of the parliamentary board on Tuesday when it didn’t invite him to a party where the chief minister and most other important JD leaders were (U).
In his speech at the event, the CM referenced Kushwaha’s plans to leave the party again, where he had been rehabilitated after a long time away from politics.
“He never told me if he had any goals he hadn’t reached. He can go anywhere he wants. Even so, he is respected here,” Kumar told reporters outside of the event when they asked him for a more direct answer.
Kushwaha has said that he “will never join the BJP,” but he has been vague about whether he will start a party and join the NDA before the Lok Sabha elections in 2024.