RJD says Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP would quit NDA to join Opposition alliance by the end of this month

Bihar’s Opposition RJD on Thursday sent ripples across political circles by saying that Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, an NDA partner, would join the RJD-led grand alliance by the end of March.

Published: 15th March 2018 08:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2018 08:48 PM   |  A+A-

RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha (Photo: Twitter)

Express News Service

PATNA: A day after securing stunning victory over the ruling JD(U) and BJP in the bypolls, Bihar’s Opposition RJD on Thursday sent ripples across political circles by saying that Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), an NDA partner, would join the RJD-led grand alliance by the end of this month.

RJD legislator Bhai Birendra, who is close to the family of jailed party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, also claimed that several MLAs and leaders of JD(U) were in touch with RJD and would soon join it. Similar claims were made by RJD national vice-president and former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh about a fortnight ago.

“I am saying with full responsibility that we have had talks with Upendra Kushwaha and his party expected to join our alliance by the end of this month,” said Birendra. Union minister Upendra Kushwaha is the founder and national president of RLSP, which has three MPs and two MLAs.

To buttress his claims, Birendra said: “I had told the same things about Jitan Ram Manjhi and my words came true.” He was referring to Mahadalit leader and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who heads the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) party, formerly an NDA member. Minutes after a surprise meeting between him and Lalu’s son Tejashwi Yadav on February 28, Manjhi had tore HAM off NDA and sided with the RJD-led grand alliance.

Kushwaha, who has been reportedly unhappy ever since JD(U) president and Chief Minister brought his party back into NDA, rubbished Birendra’s claims. Kushwaha’s wish to have an RLSP candidate contest the bypoll for Jehanabad Assembly seat was snubbed by BJP, which later offered the ticket to JD(U).

“I know Bhai Birendra’s nature well. He is a boastful man. If I am unhappy, I should be the first person to feel the pain. I am comfortable,” he said.

JD(U) leaders attacked Birendra for claiming that the ruling party would soon witness an exodus to RJD. “A mere victory in two bypolls has made him unduly arrogant. Nobody would like to board a sinking ship. RJD should focus on putting its own house in order,” said JD(U) MLC and spokesperson Neeraj Kumar.

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