PATNA: RLSP national vice president Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha Friday left the party and joined the ruling JD(U) along with his supporters here and asserted that the NDA would win 2019 Lok Sabha polls in the state.
Kushwaha joined the JD(U) at party office in the presence of party's state unit president Bashishtha Narayan Singh, Education Minister Krishnandan Prasad Verma and others along with his hundreds of workers and office-bearers of RLSP.
His exit from RLSP may prove to be another jolt for Upendra Kushwaha as his three legislators- Sudhanshu Shekhar, Lalan Paswan and Sanjeev Shyam Singh (ML)- have already announced that they would chart a different path than that of the party head Upendra Kushwaha.
Out of RLSP's three MPs, Jehanabad MP Arun Kumar is a dissident while Sitamarhi MP Ram Kumar Sharma is with the RLSP chief. Upendra Kushwaha is the third MP of the party.
Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha, the former Bihar minister, said that "I have left the RLSP and joining JD(U) with RLSP's 35 state level office-bearers and 1200 workers after Upendra Kushwaha decided to leave NDA and join UPA."
"When I joined the RLSP, my condition was that it should remain with the NDA. What Kushwaha has done (by severing ties with NDA) was not liked by party's rank and file.
I tried my level best to ensure that Upendra Kushwaha should remain with NDA but he (Upendra) started feeling unease after Nitish Kumar joined the NDA," he said.
Stating that he and his supporters want to be the part of Bihar's development story under the leadership of CM Nitish Kumar, Kushwaha said that "2019 Lok Sabha election is a challenge and 2020 (assembly elections in the state) is a much bigger challenge but we will win both 2019 and 2020 elections."
Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha- who had served in many parties earlier like CPI(ML), RJD, JD(U), Pappu Yadav's Jan Adhikar Party- is a fellow OBC man of Upendra Kushwaha which constitute a sizeable number of votes in the state.
He said that he has supported Nitish government's social programmes like prohibition, campaign against dowry and child marriage apart from its development saga especially the improvement in primary and middle schools and power availability across the state.
Earlier, state JD(U) chief and Rajya Sabha MP Bashishtha Narayan Singh welcomed Bhagwan Singh Kushwaha and his 1200 supporters and workers into the party fold and said that it would strengthen the party.