- Upendra Kushwaha said BJP made an offer which was "not respectable"
- He has demanded more seats for his party in Bihar in 2019 elections
- Rashtriya Lok Samta Party met in Patna to discuss the impasse
Upendra Kushwaha, the BJP's ally in Bihar, warned that the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance will have to pay a "heavy price" if the impasse over the seat-sharing deal for the 2019 national elections continues. The Union Minister said the BJP made an offer which was "not respectable" amid speculation that Mr Kushwaha could make a "big announcement" regarding this. He gave the NDA a deadline of November 30 to reach an agreement.
He said that now he would not meet any BJP leader except Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of seat-sharing. "I will not make any move on my part to discuss seat sharing. Now, the BJP will have to make a move for seat sharing with the RLSP," Mr Kushwaha said.
Mr Kushwaha has demanded more seats for his party than the three seats it contested in the 2014 national elections. In the meeting on Saturday in Patna, the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) rejected the number of seats it was offered after the BJP and Nitish Kumar's party decided to contest an equal number of seats in Bihar next year.
"The BJP should decide a respectful seat-sharing for the RLSP in the NDA for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Bihar by November 30," he told reporters.
At the party meeting, Mr Kushwaha also discussed Nitish Kumar's "insult" of him. Recently, Mr Kushwaha had also interpreted Mr Kumar's recent remarks at an event that the "level of discourse should not be lowered (itna neeche mat giraiye)", as an affront to him. He had alleged that the chief minister referred to him as "neech" (lowly) - a charge rejected by the Janata Dal (United).
Mr Kumar was responding to a question about Mr Kushwaha's claim that Mr Kumar did not want to continue as chief minister after the 2020 assembly polls in Bihar.
Upendra Kushwaha also trained his guns at Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar for defending Mr Kumar, signaling a growing isolation in the Bihar coalition.
He sought to meet BJP chief Amit Shah to discuss these issues and was in Delhi for two days this week. "I have twice tried to meet Amit Shah to discuss a respectful seat-sharing in the NDA in Bihar. Even on Friday I waited to meet him, but could not. I was not given time to meet Amit Shah," he said.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)
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