Bihar is no stranger to political drama, and the recent developments involving Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal (RLJD) and the Janata Dal (United) (JDU) have only added to the intrigue. With 18 JDU leaders defecting to RLJD, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is facing a significant challenge to his authority.
The roots of this feud can be traced back to the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, when Upendra Kushwaha, then a JDU member, became increasingly disillusioned with the party’s leadership. He felt that his concerns were not being adequately addressed, and he was dissatisfied with the party’s performance in the 2015 Bihar Assembly elections.
Kushwaha’s frustrations came to a head when he was denied a ticket to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He subsequently quit the JDU and floated his own party, RLJD. The move was not unexpected, given that Kushwaha had been hinting at such a possibility for some time. He had also been cultivating his own support base within the JDU, and many of his supporters followed him when he left the party.
Since then, Kushwaha has been working to expand his party’s reach in Bihar, especially in the rural areas. The recent Virasat Bachao Yatra was part of this effort, and it appears to have been successful in attracting new members to RLJD. The defection of 18 JDU leaders is a significant coup for Kushwaha, and it could potentially weaken Nitish Kumar’s grip on the party.
For his part, Nitish Kumar has tried to downplay the significance of the defections, stating that the JDU is a strong party with a committed support base. He has also been critical of Kushwaha, accusing him of opportunism and of being a political lightweight.
However, the fact remains that Nitish Kumar is facing a challenge from within his own party, and he will need to address the concerns of JDU leaders and workers if he wants to prevent further defections. He will also need to be mindful of the growing threat posed by RLJD, which appears to be gaining traction in Bihar.
Overall, the political situation in Bihar remains fluid and unpredictable. While Nitish Kumar may still be in control of the JDU, he cannot afford to be complacent. The rise of RLJD and the defections from his own party are clear indications that his leadership is being questioned, and he will need to work hard to maintain his position.