"Not worth taking note" was Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s reply on queries about "disgruntled" key aide Upendra Kushwaha's claim of "big leaders" in the JD(U) maintaining "deep" contacts with those in the BJP. Kushwaha, the parliamentary board chief of the JD(U), had made the claim on Sunday, exasperated by the controversy surrounding his meeting with BJP leaders last week in Delhi.
Dismissing Kushwaha's loquacity as "not worth taking note", Kumar, who attended a function on the occasion of birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, flashed a wide grin and rushed to his vehicle. "Aap unse hi poochhiye.....unhi ka chhapiye" (you better ask him and publish whatever he says) was the curt reply of Kumar, the JD(U)'s de facto supreme leader, when he was approached by journalists with queries about Kushwaha's remark.
Speculations are rife that Kushwaha had attempted an indirect jibe at Kumar, whose personal equations with BJP leaders like late Arun Jaitley have been the stuff of legend. Another trusted aide of Kumar was his former deputy Sushil Kumar Modi, and the Bihar CM has said on record that but for the latter’s sidelining in the BJP, the break up with JD(U) last year would not have taken place.
A former Union minister who had served in the first Narendra Modi administration, Kushwaha returned to the JD(U) in 2021, merging his Rashtriya Lok Samata Party which was floated eight years earlier. He has, however, been making little secret of his thwarted ambitions ever since Kumar made it clear that there would be no deputy CM in addition to Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD, the largest constituent of the ruling ‘Mahagathbandhan’ in the state.