PATNA: After weeks of soaring bitterness over NDA’s seat-sharing plans in Bihar for the next Lok Sabha polls and targeting JD(U), the Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) on Wednesday openly turned against BJP and decided to walk out of NDA.
A formal announcement of RLSP’s exit from NDA is all set to be made at the party’s open-house conference at Motihari in Bihar’s East Champaran district on Thursday, said reliable sources in the party. Kushwaha, the Union minister of state for human resources development, would resign from the central cabinet before parliament’s winter session begins, they added.
Resolutions adopted at RLSP’s two-day ‘chintan shivir’ at Valmikinagar that ended on Wednesday strongly disapproved of BJP’s efforts to “polarise the nation along religious lines” and vowed to “dethrone the corrupt, inefficient Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar”.
“BJP has once again brought up the emotional issue of Ram temple just before the polls to divert attention from critical issues of public interest such as black money and unemployment. All the leaders, functionaries and workers of RLSP expressed deep disappointment with BJP’s renewed stress on the Ram temple and JD(U)’s utter neglect of Bihar’s interests,” said RLSP national general secretary Madhaw Anand to this newspaper.
Kushwaha was unanimously authorised to take the “final decision” on behalf of the party regarding its continuance in NDA, Anand added. Sources said the RLSP chief would announce the party’s decision to walk out of NDA at Motihari on Thursday.
After BJP and JD(U) offered RLSP just two seats out of the total 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, Kushwaha had been publicly airing his disappointment with NDA and hinting at plans to part ways with the alliance. His exit from NDA is likely to spur a bout of realignment in Bihar’s political landscape and impact the outcome of the 2019 LS polls and the state Assembly polls in 2020.
Although RLSP is unlikely to announce its next step after exiting NDA, it is reliably learnt that it would join Bihar’s RJD-led Grand Alliance, which is a part of UPA.