Patna, Jan 31: Disgruntled JD(U) parliamentary board chief Upendra Kushwaha on Tuesday said that he had ‘infinite admiration’ (agaadh shraddha) for Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, but insisted that the latter was no longer able to exercise his own volition, which resulted in JD(U)’s vulnerability.
Upendra Kushwaha has categorically dismissed Nitish Kumar’s claim that he was made the Chairman of the JDU Parliamentary Board out of respect and owing to his contribution to the party. The post was a mere ‘jhunjhuna’ (a child’s rattle), he said. Kushwaha also said that as parliamentary board chief, he enjoyed no powers.
Bihar | CM said that I was given a lot of respect as I was made the Chairman of the Parliamentary Board. But it was a 'Jhunjhuna'. Even after being the Chairman of the Parliamentary Board,I cannot nominate a member. No attention was paid to my suggestions: Upendra Kushwaha, JD(U) pic.twitter.com/xAP6h8FBqt
— ANI (@ANI) January 31, 2023
“I have been asked to clarify what I meant by claiming my own share (hissa) in the party. doing hisstoday”, Kushwaha, a former Union minister, said with pompous flourish.
“I am speaking of the same share that Nitish Kumar had demanded at the famous rally of 1994 when Lalu Yadav was reluctant to give our leader his due,” he said.
Kushwaha was referring to ‘Luv Kush’ rally in Patna, a veritable gathering of Kurmis and Koeris upset with believed domination of numerically powerful Yadavs which Lalu Yadav, then helming Bihar, was seen as embodying.
Kumar’s presence at the rally had set the tone for his separation from the undivided Janata Dal and charting of an independent political journey.
“I have in the past renounced my berths in the Rajya Sabha and later in the union council of ministers. The party may take back my party post and strip me of my status as an MLC if it thinks these are big privileges bestowed on me,” he added.
Kushwaha claimed that unlike in 2013 when the JD(U) had its first break up with the BJP, ‘the image of dissolution now looms large on our party’.
Kushwaha also alleged that the extremely backward classes are getting increasingly disappointed with JD(U).