As fissures widened within NDA, the RLSP leader Upendra Kuchwaha launched a double-barrelled attack on the party’s alliance partner, the BJP on Thursday.
He slammed the BJP for fomenting communal sentiment in the society to fulfil political ambitions, he also criticised the BJP leadership for humiliating its alliance partners.
Citing a couplet written by famous Hindi poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Kushwaha announced, “Yachna nahi, ab ran hoga (No more pleading, now we will go to war instead).”
Speaking at the open session of the RLSP Chintan Shivir that was held in Motihari district of Bihar, Kushwaha said the BJP is raising Ram Mandir issue to exploit people’s sentiments in favour of them during the election.
He also criticised Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) government in Bihar for failing to fulfil its promises. Attacking both the BJP and the JD(U), Kushwaha said a political party should not indulge in “Mandir-Masjid” debate, rather they should engage themselves in constructive discussions.
Demanding better education facilities for the poor in Bihar, Kushwaha condemned the JD(U) government for ignoring his 25-point charter for imparting better education to the people of the state.
Kushwaha, who has been at loggerheads with the JD(U) for quite some time now, had earlier expressed his unhappiness over the induction of Nitish Kumar in NDA camp.
A protege-turned-rival of Nitish Kumar, Kushwaha had earlier set November 30 as the deadline for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to finalise its seat-sharing formula among NDA partners in Bihar. But he did not receive any response from the BJP till date, said a close confidante of Kushwaha.
“Now, I am not going to make any effort to meet the BJP top leaders except the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in whose cabinet I am a minister,” said Kushwaha, who made several attempts to meet the BJP National President Amit Shah, but could not meet him.
Meanwhile, an RLSP leader confirmed to National Herald that Kushwaha will meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday, December 10. He may resign from the Modi cabinet after meeting Rahul, said the source.
He will join the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) before the Lok Sabha election, said the RLSP leader on the condition of anonymity.
According to sources, Kushwaha has also held several rounds of talk with former JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav over possible merger of their parties.
Kushwaha leads the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), and Sharad Yadav is the patron of the Loktantrik Janta Dal, which was formed in July this year.
As per credible sources, with the single aim to defeat the BJP in next general election, Upendra Kushwaha also reached out to Raju Shetty, a farmer-leader from Maharashtra for the alliance.
“We share good rapport as we were part of the NDA,” Shetty was quoted as saying by the media.
It is important to recall here that Shetty who leads the Swabhimani Paksha, was also a member of the NDA but he left the BJP-led ruling alliance in 2017, accusing it of cheating farmers on the issue of Minimum Support Price (MSP).
Analysts feel that Kushwaha’s exit from the NDA camp is only a matter of time. He has been side-lined at the behest of Nitish Kumar by the top BJP brasses.
Although he managed to bag three Lok Sabha seats in 2014 election, questions were raised about his appeal among his own community after the RLSP lost 21 out of 23 seats it contested in the 2015 assembly elections.
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