Bihar’s ruling JD(U) on Sunday acquired a shot within the arm with the merger of RLSP of Upendra Kushwaha, a former protege of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who got here again underneath his wing 9 years after having fallen aside. The merger came about on the JD(U) state headquarters right here, the place the chief minister welcomed Kushwaha, a former Union minister, by presenting him with a bouquet.
High JD(U) leaders like Rajeev Ranjan Singh alias Lalan, Sanjay Kumar Jha and Vashisth Narayan Singh and key workplace bearers of the now dissolved RLSP like Madhaw Anand and Fazl Imam Mallick have been additionally current. The much-anticipated reunion, more likely to be mutually helpful, comes on the again of hectic parleys between the 2 leaders within the latest previous.
Quickly after he was inducted into the JD(U), Kumar introduced Kushwaha’s appointment because the nationwide parliamentary board president “with rapid impact”. Kushwaha, who brings on desk his assist base of the sizeable Koeri caste, vowed to make the JD(U) “the primary occasion” in Bihar and mentioned that after having been witness to “many ups and downs” because the RLSP founding chief, he appeared ahead to creating use of his expertise underneath the steerage of Nitish Kumar.
Kushwaha was in political wilderness since his exit from NDA in 2017. Feeling “stifled” within the RJD-led Grand Alliance, he give up the coalition forward of the meeting elections final 12 months and ended up going through political isolation however the assist of his Koeri neighborhood which is the second most populous OBC group in Bihar after the Yadavas.
Kumar, who’s serving his fourth consecutive time period in energy, has suffered a diminution in clout on account of the JD(U)’s unimpressive efficiency within the meeting elections which noticed him lose the higher hand to the BJP.
The chief minister, who has since relinquished the put up of the JD(U) president, nonetheless enjoys supreme management over the occasion and has been busy consolidating his Luv-Kush (Kurmi-Koeri) base, in a bid to carry his personal in opposition to the BJP juggernaut.
Kumar himself is a Kurmi, a caste that’s numerically small however very influential by advantage of being economically and educationally superior. After reducing his enamel as a youth chief within the Lok Dal and Janata Dal, Kushwaha went on to turn out to be the deputy chief within the state meeting of the Samata Occasion, a breakaway group which Kumar had shaped together with veteran socialist chief George Fernandes.
By 2004, after the JD(U) an entity shaped with the merger of Samata Occasion with Janata Dal’s splinter group headed by Sharad Yadav emerged because the senior NDA associate, Kushwaha grew to become the Chief of the Opposition. He bought expelled from the JD(U) for anti-party actions in 2007, however was re-inducted two years later. He was rewarded with a Rajya Sabha seat however ambition bought the higher of him in 2013 when he fell aside with Kumar as soon as once more and floated the Rashtriya Lok Samata Occasion.
The BJP-led NDA, which was then determined for brand new allies within the wake of the exit of Kumar, welcomed Kushwaha and his fledgling occasion gained three seats within the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, using the Modi wave.
Kushwaha himself was appointed the Minister of State for HRD, a put up he held until his exit from the NDA. In the meantime, Ashok Choudhary, one of many closest aides of the chief minister, summed up the buoyancy in JD(U) camp. “It’s being more and more clear to all that the longer term belongs to the model of politics popularised by Nitish Kumar.
Within the latest previous, many have crossed over. Upendra Kushwaha’s return provides one other chapter. In future, many extra might comply with,” he mentioned.