Rashtriya Lok Samata Party president and Union minister Upendra Singh Kushwaha has turned down an offer of the Rashtriya Janata Dal to join the ‘grand alliance’ of like-minded parties to dislodge the Bharatiya Janata Party government. Speaking to news agency ANI, Kushwaha said that RLSP is a part of the ruling BJP-led NDA at the Centre and it will remain a part of the alliance.
Targetting the RJD, he said that Lalu Prasad Yadav’s party has lost its credibility among people and leaders making such remarks mean nothing to him. “RJD has lost its base. To find a base, they are making such statements but they mean nothing to me,” the Union Minister said on Sunday evening. The minister was referring to RJD leader and Leader of Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejashwi Yadav’s offer to the RLSP to join the ‘mahagathbandhan’ of the opposition parties in the state.
Yadav had told reporters that BJP and JD(U) were conspiring to break the RLSP and that he was not given due respect by the alliance partners. “Upendra Kushwaha has been ignored and neglected in the NDA. The BJP has been meting out to him stepmotherly treatment in the last four years. He should join the Grand Alliance in Bihar, which now comprises the RJD, Congress and Jitan Ram Majhi’s Hindustan Awam Morcha.”
Backing PM Narendra Modi, Kushwaha said, “It is necessary for Modiji to remain Prime Minister in interest of the nation. He will be PM next time too.”
Two days ago, Yadav had praised Kushwaha for his bigger outreach among public and described him as a leader with a bigger support base than Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Last week, Kushwaha had skipped a crucial meeting of the NDA partners in Patna, triggering speculation that he was unhappy with the BJP and may quit the NDA. His party had even demanded that Kushwaha should be made the NDA’s face for next year’s general elections and 2020 assembly polls in the state.
The BJP, JD(U), LJP and RLSP are constituents of the NDA in the state. Until now, RLSP, LJP and JD(U) had contested elections against each other but in 2014, after Nitish’s J(U) quit the NDA, RLSP and LJP had joined the NDA. Last year, in a dramatic turn of events, the JD(U) returned to the NDA fold. The BJP is now facing an uphill task to keep the alliance partners together by giving them a respectful representation. Bihar sends 40 MPs to the Lok Sabha.