All is not well within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Bihar. Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha has been indicating that he is not ready to accept the seat-sharing arrangement finalised by the BJP and JDU for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
All eyes are now on RLSP's national executive meeting in Patna on Saturday where Kushwaha is expected to make some big announcement.
Upendra Kushwaha demands respectable number of seats from BJP to fight in Bihar; holds talks with Paswan
Mercurial RLSP leader Nagamani echoed the prevailing mood on the eve of the meeting with a cryptic remark, "There will be a big explosion in a day or two".
However, a senior party indicated that the RLSP, which had contested on three Lok Sabha seats in 2014, will not pull the plug on NDA and wait for the BJP's response.
In a sign that the BJP was growing increasingly wary of the Union minister as he escalates his attack on Nitish Kumar, there was no word from the saffron party on the appointment Kushwaha had sought with BJP chief Amit Shah.
Kushwaha had left for Delhi from Patna Thursday, tweeting that he had sought an appointment with Shah to discuss the issue of seat-sharing and also his alleged humiliation by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
Speaking to reporters in the national capital, Kushwaha claimed that his party wanted its share of seats in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 to be commensurate with its "increased" strength compared to the 2014 polls when it had contested on three seats.
The BJP has indicated that it is unlikely to spare more than two seats for him. According to sources, BJP and JDU have decided to contest on equal number of seats in Bihar which has 40 seats in Lok Sabha.
Kushwaha also repeated his allegation that Kumar had called him 'neech' (lowly).
Bihar CM Janata Dal (United) president Nitish Kumar Kumar had said at an event that the level of discourse "should not be lowered (itna neeche mat giraiye)".
He had responded to a journalist's query about Kushwaha's claim that Kumar did not want to continue as CM after the 2020 assembly polls.
The RLSP leader alleged that Kumar referred to him as 'neech', a charge vehemently denied by the JD(U) which also released videos of the event. He also claimed that Kumar wants to destroy his party.
(With inputs from PTI)