PATNA: In a setback to BJP, Union Minister and RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha on Monday raised doubts over the seat-sharing formula prepared by the BJP for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) constituents in Bihar.
While speaking to reporters in Patna, Kushwaha said, “I do not play cricket and I do not understand this 20-20 formula. Instead, I love to play 'gilli danda'.”
According to the 20-20 seat-sharing plan chalked out by BJP chief Amit Shah, the saffron party plans to contest 20 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar while leaving 12 for Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), 6 for Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP and only 2 for Kushwaha’s RLSP.
The RLSP chief is reportedly not happy with this seat-sharing formula finalised by the BJP chief.
When quizzed by reporters whether BJP has reached out to him to address his concerns, Kushwaha said, "I can't comment on this until anything concrete comes out of it.
The minister, however, sought to display media speculations on seat-sharing arrangement among NDA constituents, saying the issue is being debated more in the media than among political parties.
"When we think it necessary, we will speak to you (media) about it (alliance and seat-sharing)," Kushwaha told reporters at his party officer here.
He said the media is "writing something today, another thing tomorrow. There is no role of political parties in it."
"Seat-sharing is an issue which is being debated more among media persons than political parties," the Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development said.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's recent meeting with BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi had triggered speculations that seat-sharing talks were "in final stages" and as per tentative formula, the RLSP is likely to get not more than two of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
RLSP national general secretary and spokesman Madhaw Anand had on Saturday blamed the JD(U) for creating a "confusion" over seat-sharing within the ruling coalition.
There were also reports about the RLSP switching over to Opposition alliance 'Mahagathandhan' in the event the party did not get a favourable deal in the NDA.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has on numerous occasions extended an invitation to Kushwaha to come to his side.
Asked about his party's senior leader Nagmani's statement on Saturday that the RLSP is being belittled and indirectly told to quit the NDA and rush into the arms of the opposition Mahagathbandhan, Kushwaha chose to stay mum on the issue.
Kushwaha also announced a schedule for launching "Halla Bol Darwaja Khol" campaign for ensuring proper representation and rights of SC, ST and OBC communities and poor among the upper castes in the higher judiciary- Supreme Court and High Courts, besides ensuring education to these sections.
The party would organise a divisional level conferences at Muzaffarpur (October 28), Gaya (November 3), Munger (November 24) and Purnea (November 25), Kushwaha said, adding that conferences will be held in other divisional and regional level in days to come.
(With Agency inputs)