PATNA: Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief and Union minister Upendra Kushwaha on Monday targeted Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the deficiencies in the state’s education system and said RLSP would stay in NDA if the state government accepts the party’s demands for reforms in education.
Kushwaha, the central minister of state for human resources development, accused the Nitish Kumar-led government of ignoring the proposals forwarded by the central education ministry and thus harming the interests of the state’s people. The RLSP chief’s outbursts were widely viewed as a double-edged manoeuvre to gain mileage in NDA’s seat-sharing exercise in Bihar or to “politically legitimise” the regional party’s plans to exit from NDA.
“Bihar has seen two major education models – Lalu Prasad Yadav’s charwaha (shepherds) school model and Nitish Kumar’s Nalanda model. I had protested against the former model, but under the Nalanda model the teachers cannot count even up to 100, students without talent become toppers and many schools do not have midday meals,” Kushwaha told reporters. “If this is the Nalanda model of CM Nitish Kumar, it has to be demolished,” he added.
Accusing the state’s NDA government of failing to allot land for the two proposed Kendriya Vidyalayas in Bihar’s Aurangabad and Nawada, Kushwaha said he would sit on a daylong fast at the two places on December 8 and 9 to force the state government to facilitate the schools’ opening.
“I have been insulted in public comments (by Nitish Kumar) with the use of the words ‘low’ and my party has been ignored, but I am willing to forget all the insults if my proposals for educational reforms are accepted and implemented,” said Kushwaha.
Bihar education minister Krishna Nandan Prasad Verma said: “Kushwaha is a respected leader of the alliance, but he is raising these issues at the fag end of the current central government. My department would look at the issues he has raised”.
Speculations are rife that RLSP could announce parting ways with NDA at the party’s open-house conference at Motihari on Thursday. On a question about his plans to resign from the central cabinet, Kushwaha said: “Only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can remove me from the cabinet. I am there till May 2019”.