Patna: Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha who quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and resigned from the Union council of ministers is all set to join Bihar’s grand alliance after a series of talks with the Congress and RJD leaders.
According to sources in the Congress, Kushwaha would join the grand alliance in New Delhi on December 20. The announcement of Kushwaha joining the ‘mahagathbandhan’ will likely be done at the press conference today.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) founder Jitan Ram Manjhi and All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge for Bihar Shaktisinh Gohil will hold the press conference in the national capital on Thursday. Opposition leader Sharad Yadav may also attend the event.
RLSP national general secretary and spokesperson Madhaw Anand confirmed the development and said the RLSP would formally announce it’s joining in the grand alliance on December 20. He said the joint press conference would be held at 4 PM in New Delhi. “The venue will be finalised by Thursday morning,” he said.
Congress in charge for Bihar Shaktisinh Gohil, former Union minister Sharad Yadav, Kushwaha, RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, HAM(S) chief and former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi would address the joint press conference, Anand said. As per sources, Congress president Rahul Gandhi who is in Himachal Pradesh, may return to Delhi by Thursday afternoon and attend the joint press conference. “Right now, I can’t confirm about Rahul Gandhi’s presence, but many senior Congress leaders will be there,” said Gohil.
Anand also informed that after the joint press conference the grand alliance leaders including Kushwaha would hold a joint meeting around 6 PM to chalk out a future plan of action.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel had met Kushwaha after the latter quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. The UPA believes that Kushwaha’s decision to join it will help it build momentum against the NDA in Bihar. Besides BJP, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP are other constituents of the NDA. The saffron alliance had swept the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, winning 31 of the state’s 40 seats.
Kushwaha on December 11 had severed his ties with the BJP and tendered his resignation accusing Prime Minister Modi of reducing the cabinet to a “rubber stamp”, “betraying” backward classes and giving Bihar only “jumlas”. Meanwhile, RLSP party members accused Kushwaha of pursuing personal interests in announcing a break up with the coalition and said that they were still siding with NDA.