Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may have come out virtually unscathed in his war of words with Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, but he may have a new problem, that too from within his party.
As Bihar prepares for polls, former Union Minister of State and four-time Lok Sabha MP Jai Narain Nishad raised the banner of revolt against Kumar on Tuesday, accusing him of ignoring the most backward castes.
“We will not bear any attempts to ignore the most backward,” he said. “Lalu Prasad too had lost out because he ignored the most backward, who have substantial numbers in more than 200 Bihar assembly seats.”
On the issue of Narendra Modi campaigning in Bihar, too, he subtly broke with the party’s position, saying it was for the BJP to decide whether including Modi in the campaign or not was beneficial for it.
Nishad, however, denied reports that he would join the Congress and said he was firmly with the JD(U).
He demanded that the party reserve seats for the most backward in keeping with their quota in the state, meaning 18 per cent.
Nishad added: “The JD(U) held its activists’ conference in Rajgir in August, when Parliament was in session, and did not even send me an invitation. After nominating me for a post on the Shipping Corporation, which has two vacancies for MPs for which they themselves vote, the party first issued a whip and then withdrew it. Four MPs had gone to Rajgir, and I lost the election by two votes.”
Nishad also criticised Nitish Kumar for inducting people from other parties into JD(U) while alienating leaders like Lallan Singh.
He claimed heavy anti-incumbency against the party’s sitting legislators. “If they don’t deny the party ticket to at least 70 percent sitting MLAs, the JD(U) will not win more than 50 seats.”