PATNA: With yet another RLSP leader shot dead in Bihar in what is the fourth murder of the party’s grassroots leaders this year, party chief and Union minister Upendra Kushwaha on Wednesday stepped up his attacks on the Nitish Kumar-led state government amid reports that NDA has finalised a seat-sharing formula minus RLSP.
Amit Bhushan Verma, RLSP’s Paliganj block president, was shot dead by unidentified assailants when he was attending a cultural programme at Mera village under Paliganj police station on Tuesday night. Just when he was getting down the podium, he was shot at. Verma received three bullets on his stomach and one on his right arm. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was declared brought dead.
The murder shocked RLSP leaders and workers as the local police station in-charge was present beside Verma when he received the gunshots. The assailants, said to have fired from a distance of 100 metres, escaped unnoticed by taking advantage of the darkness. A man who was hurt in the firing is currently under treatment and out of danger, said officials.
“Repeated murders like this have clearly exposed the lie in the state government’s tall claims about good governance. If this is what they call good governance, they have perhaps changed the word’s definition in Bihar,” said Kushwaha to reporters after meeting Verma’s bereaved family and the local people.
In a tweet, Kushwaha said his party’s leaders were being killed selectively. Three other RLSP leaders – Manish Sahni or Vaishali, Manoj Mahato of Khagaul and Sanjay Sah of Siwan – were killed earlier this year, prompting Kushwaha to attack the state government on the declining law and order situation.
“Honourable Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, if you have got some free time from your divisive politics, please pay some attention to Bihar’s law and order. RLSP leaders are being killed selectively and you remain a silent spectator,” said RLSP national general secretary Madhaw Anand in a tweet.
Meanwhile, sources in both BJP and JD(U) said that the seat-sharing plan for NDA in Bihar has been finalised without taking RLSP into account. “It is now clear that NDA will have three parties in Bihar –JD(U), BJP and LJP. While JD(U) and BJP would contest on 17 seats each, LJP would get the rest six seats,” said a senior JD(U) leader familiar with the development.