Patna, June 8 (IANS) RLSP chief and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha, who had skipped the NDA meeting and dinner here on Thursday night, on Friday sought to justify his absence, saying no one was asking why BJP President Amit Shah wasn’t present.
The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief is also unlikely to attend Iftar party to be hosted by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), here on Friday evening.
“Amit Shah also did not attend the NDA meeting-cum-dinner party here but nobody is asking why he failed to be there,” he said, expressing surprise over why some people are giving so much importance to his absence at the event.
It was the first such event after the NDA came to power in Bihar in July 2017 after the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) broke ties with poll partners Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress to return to the BJP-led grouping.
Chief Minister and JD-U chief Nitish Kumar, Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan and senior BJP leaders were present and the RLSP chief was the only one who stayed away.
Kushwaha, who arrived here from Delhi, however claimed that there was no discontent within the NDA in the state.
“I am not unhappy or angry as speculated. NDA is united and there is no dispute,” he said.
Ahead of the NDA meeting, RLSP leader Nagmani said Kushwaha should be the Chief Ministerial candidate of the NDA for the 2020 state Assembly polls, as Nitish Kumar “is not the only Chief Ministerial candidate” and Kushwaha was “also Chief Ministerial material”.
His statement came amid the JD-U’s bid to put up Nitish Kumar as an undisputed leader of the coalition in Bihar.