New Delhi: A Lok Sabha MP from Bihar, who had won in 2014 with the BJP’s support, said Wednesday the saffron party will suffer in the Lok Sabha polls for allying with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and indicated his willingness to ally with the opposition.
Arun Kumar, the Jehanabad MP, also supported RLSP leader and Union minister Upendra Kushwaha in his campaign against Nitish Kumar over his alleged insult.
Kumar, who was in the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), had rebelled against Kushwaha and floated his own party. His support to him Wednesday underscored the realignment of forces underway in the politically crucial state.
Asked if he would join the opposition alliance of Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, Kumar said he was open to it provided he gets a “respectable offer”.
He also lashed out at the state government over its “rule of terror”.
Arun Kumar also dismissed Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Modi’s support to Nitish Kumar over Kushwaha’s attack on him, saying he was merely a “courtier” who will describe day as night if the chief minister said so.
“The BJP will suffer for its alliance with Nitish Kumar. I had supported the BJP in 2014 in my fight against him,” he said.
The JD(U) had contested the Lok Sabha elections independently without allying with either the BJP or the RJD.
Kushwaha has accused the JD(U) president of insulting him by allegedly using the word ‘neech’ (lowly), a charge denied by his party, and Nitish Kumar said the Bihar chief minister should apologise.
The RLSP president had sought the intervention of BJP president Amit Shah and had also expressed his displeasure with the seat-sharing arrangement proposed by Shah for all allies- JD(U), RLSP and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party.
The opposition, which included the Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, has been wooing Kushwaha as it works to strengthen its support base in a state where caste remains a crucial factor in people’s voting preference.