Patna: BJP ally Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) on Monday said its party chief and union Minister Upendra Kushwaha should be declared the alliance s chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming Bihar polls. Arun Kumar, the state president of the RLSP, said here that Kushwaha is the most capable and deserving candidate for the post. "The people of Bihar want to see Kushwaha as the next chief minister.
Taking this view, the BJP-led NDA should project Kushwaha as the chief minister candidate," he said. Kumar is the MP from the Jehanabad constituency and is considered close to Kushwaha. He said Kushwaha is the best face against Nitish Kumar, who was declared the chief ministerial nominee of the Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress combine for the forthcoming polls. Another BJP ally, union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan s Lok Janshakti Party announced last week that Paswan will not be the NDA s chief ministerial candidate.
Chirag Paswan, chairman of the party s parliamentary board, said no leader from the LJP will be the chief ministerial candidate. LJP Lok Sabha member Ramchandra Paswan, Ram Vilas Paswan s brother, had earlier demanded that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) should declare Ram Vilas Paswan as the chief ministerial candidate. He said former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted Ram Vilas Paswan to become the chief minister.
Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who has already announced he would join the NDA in the state, said that he is not in the race for the top job and only a Bharatiya Janata Party leader would be the candidate. In the caste-ridden politics of the state, there are over half-a-dozen BJP leaders from the upper castes and the backward castes who have staked their claim for being nominated as the chief ministerial candidate. Manjhi, a Mahadalit leader, is the president of the Hindustani Awami Morcha, which is eyeing to eat into the traditional social support base of RJD s Lalu Prasad and JD-U s Nitish Kumar.