New Delhi: After breaking ties with National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha met Congress MP Ahmed Patel at the latter’s residence in Delhi. The move came five days after the RLSP chief decided to part ways with NDA and resigned from the Union cabinet.
Accusing party president Upendra Kushwaha of pursuing personal interests in announcing a break up with the coalition, members in the bicameral legislature of Bihar declared they were still siding with NDA. Both the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) MLAs– Sudhanshu Shekhar and Lalan Paswan– and its lone MLC-Sanjiv Singh Shyam- made a statement to this effect at a joint press conference.
They also pitched for a ministerial berth for Sudhanshu Shekhar, who is a first-term MLA and the youngest among the three. The split in the party became clear when Shyam said that they represented the real RLSP as they enjoyed the support of most workers and office-bearers at the party.
Shekhar said, “RLSP is ours. Sudhanshu Shekhar Ji (RLSP MLA) should be made a minister in NDA. We are in the NDA since the start. We want to make Narendra Modi the prime minister again in 2019. We’ve no relations with Upendra Kushwaha Ji now, he went with Mahagathbandhan.”
While the three legislators have announced their separation from Kushwaha, among the two other Lok Sabha members–Arun Kumar from Jehanabad and Ram Kumar Sharma from Sitamarhi–the former has been charting an independent course for the past two years.
“We are not defectors. Rather, we represent the real RLSP. Our stance is in line with the sentiments of most workers and office-bearers in the party. We will soon be approaching the Election Commission with our claim,” Shyam said.
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”.
Making the announcement a day ahead of Parliament’s Winter Session, the RLSP leader from Bihar said he is open to joining the opposition alliance, which includes Lalu Prasad’s RJD and the Congress.
He had also claimed the BJP-led NDA would not be able to win a single seat in the state.