New Delhi: After weeks of political bickering over seat-sharing in Bihar for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) is likely to part ways with the NDA government, and a formal announcement on this is expected today, a senior party leader said on Wednesday.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the leader said that Kushwahs is likely to put in his papers as Minister of State for HRD in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre.
“That (Kushwaha’s resignation) is just a formality which would be completed once he visits the national capital and meets the prime minister,” the leader said.
The development comes after Kushwaha’s “ultimatum” to the BJP for finalising seat-sharing among NDA constituents in Bihar by November 30 went unheeded.
On December 1, Kushwaha fired a fresh salvo at the BJP leadership, saying a person who heads towards doom loses his reasoning. He claimed he was not given an appointment by BJP chief Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Meanwhile, reports are rife that the RLSP chief is in talks with former JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav who has formed his own party. There is speculation that two small parties are toying with the idea of a merger.
However, a spectre of a split also looms large on the RLSP with both its MLAs and lone MLC, besides one of its MPs, are said to be in touch with Kumar and keen on remaining in the NDA in the event of Kushwaha severing ties with it.
Ever since the announcement by the BJP president that his party and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) will contest equal number of seats out of the total 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar, Kushwaha has been publicly showing his unhappiness.
He had said that the BJP had offered RLSP two seats which his party rejected and sought a “respectable” number instead.
Kushwaha’s party had won all the three seats it had contested in 2014 in Bihar with the BJP. But, with the return of Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) in the coalition, the equation changed.
Kushwaha came into political prominence after Nitish Kumar backed him as the leader of opposition in Bihar assembly in 2004 despite the fact that it was his first outing as an MLA, but later fell out with the JD(U) chief and floated RLSP.
Kushwaha aligned with the BJP in the last Parliamentary election, while the JD(U) was part of the grand alliance with Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress.
The developments have fuelled speculation that he may quit the NDA in favour of ‘mahagathbandhan’ comprising RJD, Congress and HAM of former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.
The Congress, which is the second largest constituent of the opposition Grand Alliance, urged Kushwaha to make haste and come out of the NDA.