Kushwaha was more miffed with Nitish

Kushwaha was more miffed with Nitish

Upendra Kushwaha

"Yachna nahi, ab rann hoga. Sangharsh bada bheeshan hoga". Translated, the poem means: "Now, no more plea. Time to wage war. The battle will be fierce".

Upendra Kushwaha quoted eminent poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar last week while concluding his "chintan shivir" (brainstorming meet) at Bihar's Champaran, where the party authorised him to take a call on the alliance with the NDA.

On Monday, Kushwaha quit the NDA, resigned as Union minister and charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi with not fulfilling his 2014 poll promises.

But more than that, he trained his gun at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with whom he has a running feud since 2013.

Around five years back, Nitish had expelled Kushwaha from the Janata Dal (United) for anti-party activities.

It was then that Kushwaha floated the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) on March 3, 2013, contested as an NDA ally during the 2014 parliamentary polls and eventually became a Union minister in May 2014.

Kushwaha's tie-up with the BJP was a smooth affair — till Nitish dumped the Grand Alliance and re-joined the NDA in July 2017.

The fresh political realignment virtually sealed Kushwaha's fate in the NDA as the BJP treated Nitish as a "big catch" compared to Kushwaha, who was yet to prove his firm grip over the second most populous OBCs — the Kushwahas.

Besides, when Nitish inducted BJP men into his Cabinet in July 2017, he also inducted LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan's younger brother Pashupati Kumar Paras into his ministry. Paras was neither an MLA or an MLC.

Nitish never offered RLSP a place in the government although just like the BJP and LJP, the RLSP was also part of the NDA in Bihar.

The first sign of drifting apart (from the NDA) was visible when Kushwaha formed a human chain in Bihar early this year to protest the poor education system in the state. None of the other NDA allies joined him.

It was then that the leaders from the Grand Alliance, mostly RJD leaders, joined Kushwaha's human chain.

Last week, when Kushwaha, a junior HRD Minister at the Centre, blasted Nitish for appointing "such teachers who could not even write numerals 1 to 100 correctly and these teachers have created fake toppers," it was the last straw.

"The fact is Nitish and Kushwaha represent the same social composition — Luv-Kush (read: Kurmis, Nitish's castemen and Kushwahas, Upendra's castemen). Together, these two OBC communities form a numerically strong group. The fight is for who has a better hold over their constituency. And in the process, both Nitish and Kushwaha remain at loggerheads," said social scientist Ajay Kumar.