PATNA: Serial party-hopper and former minister Nagmani on Sunday quit former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) two days after praising him Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at a public programme and indicating his tilt towards the ruling JD(U).
RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha had issued Nagmani, who also hails from the electorally significant Koeri (Kushwaha) community, a show-cause notice over his “anti-party activities” and stripped him of the post of working president in the six-year-old party.
“Upendra Kushwaha was a goat before I joined his party. He used to bleat like a goat. I and my supporters made him wear a tiger skin and turned him into a tiger before Bihar’s people. We will once again turn him into a goat and he will bleat,” said Nagmani while announcing his resignation from RLSP’s primary membership.
Nagmani, who was a minister in the central government led by Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2003 and also served as agriculture minister in Bihar’s Nitish Kumar-led government, accused Kushwaha of accepting money for allotting party tickets for the Lok Sabha.
“There was no lathi-charge on him (Kushwaha). It was all planned by him. He had asked some close aides to create confusion (during RLSP workers’ protest march) so that he would pretend to fall on the ground,” said Nagmani about the February 2 incident in which Kushwaha was injured. Nagmani, who is the son of firebrand socialist leader Jagdeo Prasad, had earlier dubbed the lathi-charge as the “state government’s conspiracy to kill Kushwaha”.
RLSP leaders described Nagmani’s allegations against Kushwaha as baseless and strongly denied that money exchanged hands for allotment of party tickets.
“Nagmani was lobbying hard for tickets in the Lok Sabha polls for both himself and his wife (former minister Suchitra Sinha). He was putting high pressure, but Kushwaha rebuffed him. That is why he is levelling such baseless charges against the party chief,” said RLSP general secretary Satyanand Dangi.
Although Nagmani did not reveal his next political abode, sources said he may join Bihar’s ruling JD(U). In the past, Nagmani has changed parties nearly 15 times in as many years, having been in BJP, Congress, JD(U) and RJD, among others. The former MP from Chatra in Jharkhand had joined RLSP in July 2017.