Speculation about former Union Minister and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha joining the Janata Dal (United) is getting stronger in Bihar's political circles. It is said that talks between the leaders of both the parties is almost finalised.
Statements of the leaders of both the parties are encouraging the rumour that they are not very different from each other.
This is not the first time that Upendra Kushwaha has joined hands with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar or parted ways from him. The RLSP Chief had started his political innings under the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar himself. After this, Kushwaha had parted ways with him twice. Earlier, in November 2009, Kushwaha had merged his Rashtriya Samta Party with the JD(U). Now, however, Kushwaha says he never parted ways with Kumar.
The two parties remembered each other after the results of 2020 Bihar Assembly elections. If the RLSP was wiped out in this Assembly election, the JD(U) did not get too many seats either. Subsequently, the leaders of the two parties realised they need each other.
Meanwhile, after the recent state Assembly election during the cold winter nights, Kushwaha reached out to Nitish thrice to break the ice between the two parties.
After the election, Nitish Kumar is trying to bolster the JD(U)'s organisational structure and is busy laying the ground to regain the mass base. At the same time, Kushwaha is also looking to regain his touch in politics. So, the coming together of the JD(U) and RLSP has become the need of the hour for both.
Sources say that it would be no surprise if Kushwaha comes to the JD(U) camp before the state cabinet's expansion. Including the RLSP Chief in the cabinet will also help the cause of social engineering and another tall leader will join the ranks of the JD(U).
Former JD(U) state President Bashistha Narain Singh has also said he would welcome the decision of Kushwaha to join the JD(U). He said Kumar and Kushwaha are already friends. He said the JD(U) and the RLSP have worked together before. "Kushwaha has never been far from us. This would also be a good decision for the politics of Bihar," he added.
Kushwaha has also been describing Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as his elder brother.
On the other hand, leaders of both the JD(U) and RLSP are not saying anything openly yet about their growing bonhomie.
Jama Khan, the lone Bahujan Samaj Party MLA in Biharhas, joined the JD(U) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) MLAs have also met JD(U) leaders. Five All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLAs in Bihar have also met the Bihar chief minister.