Law Kumar Mishra
Patna: The ongoing tussle between the Rashyriya Lok Samata Party national president Upendra Kushwaha and Bihar unit chief Arun Kumar may cost Kushwaha his chair in the Narendra Modi cabinet. The charges levelled in a letter sent by Arun to the PMO alleging Kushwaha’s links with a hawala trader is being investigated by the PMO and it was allegedly found there was substance in the allegation.
On his part, Upendra Kushwaha has not denied his links with the named hawala man. Kushwwaha has clarified he did travel abroad courtesy hawala man but claimed he was not aware of his antecedents.”Since I am from a poor family and have no money to visit abroad, if some one offered me to take to foreign countries, I did go,” he says.
Kushwaaha, who is Union minister of state for HRD, dissolved Bihar unit of the party when reports about state chief sending letter against party’s national president to PMO became public. Arun, an influential Bhumihar leader from Magadh belt, is one of three MPs of RLSP from Bihar. Kushwaha and Ramkumar Sharma are the other two.
Differences between Arun and Upendra had surfaced during the Bihar assembly elections last year when Arun’s nominees were denied nominations in the list of NDA candidates and choices of Upendra were preferred. Arun had alleged Upendra was behaving like a dictator.
Upendra has callled a meeting of its district level office bearers on Sunday morning here. A new committee to manage the party’ affairs in Bihar will be set up after reviewing the membership drive in the districts and opinions of the units in districts. There had been demand for removal of Arun from the party.
Sources close to Arun today said he has a choice to join the BJP, which lacks an influential upper caste leader in Gaya-Arwal-Jahanabad-Nalanda belt. Former CM and HAM president Jeetan Ram Manjhi, who supports BJP is from dalit category, and Prem Kumar, leader of opposition in state assembly, is from Chandrawanshi community. Bhumihars have a strong presence in the belt. Jagdish Sharma, an upper caste Bhumihar leader and former MP, is disqualified even to contest an election following his conviction in the fodder scam case by a special CBI court. The BJP has refused to be drawn into controversy claiming it was RLSP’s internal matter.