Former lawmaker Umesh Kushwaha was unanimously elected on Sunday as chairman of the Janata Dal (United) Bihar unit, in a bid to strengthen the former base of support for the ruling “Luv-Kush” party. The election of Kushwaha, a former MLA from the Mahnar constituency party in Vaishali district, was ratified at the party’s state council meeting in Patna.
“The head of the party’s Bihar unit, Bashishtha Narayan Singh, proposed the name of Kushwaha for the position of party state chairman, which was unanimously approved by members present at the meeting,” the leader told reporters. Chief and MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh, aka Lalan Singh, at a press conference at the party office. .
The election of Umesh Kushwaha indicates that the ruling party will return to its original support base of “Luv-Kush” (combination of OBC Kurmi and Kushwaha castes).
Since 2005, when the JD (U) -BJP uprooted RJD from power in Bihar, Kumar himself, one Kurmi per caste, has been leveraging the Luv-Kush equation to corner a large portion of the non-OBC castes. Yadav on Bihar politics.
The Yadavs make up the majority of the OBC’s votes in Bihar politics with nearly 14 percent. But, kumar by rallying two other OBC castes from Kumri and Kushwaha increased his base to around 12-14 percent, to counter Lalu Prasad.
The 46-year-old Kushwaha’s election also reflects the party seeking young leadership, apparently to mitigate the attack by RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav and Chirag Paswan, who heads the Lok Janshakti Party.
Kushwaha succeeds septuagenarian Bashishtha Narayan Singh as chairman of the JD (U) Bihar unit.
Recently, Kumar himself resigned as national president of JD (U) and appointed his close confidant RCP Singh as his successor.
Kushwaha contested the 2020 assembly elections with the JD (U) candidacy of the Mahnar assembly constituency, but lost to the RJD candidate.
He had won the 2015 state elections from the very seat of Mahnar defeating his BJP rival at the time.
Lalan Singh was speaking to reporters about the decisions made at the state executive and state council meeting in the past two days.
Singh said that Bashishtha Narayan Singh expressed his willingness to be relieved of the responsibility of the party chief and proposed the name of Kushwaha for the position, which was approved by the state council.
Singh said he will continue to lead the party as “Margdarshak,” said Singh, the leader of the JD (U) in Lok Sabha.
Speaking on the occasion, the newly elected state chairman thanked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the party’s national chairman RCP Singh for trusting him and stated that he would try to live up to their expectations by working hard to strengthen the party.
Kushwaha said that young people will have a chance in the party, whose organizational structure will be further strengthened down to the village level.