On Monday, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief and the Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Upendra Kushwaha resigned from his post and also quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The development came after a dispute between RLSP and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) surfaced over the seat-sharing formula in Bihar for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing a press conference, Kushwaha ranted against PM Modi. He said, “Narendra Modi ji couldn’t meet expectations of the people of Bihar. Nothing was done for special status. Bihar is still where it was earlier. Education and health system are non-existent. Nothing was done for Bihar.”
RLSP Chief Upendra Kushwaha: Koshish inki (BJP) nirantar rahi hamari party ko barbad karne ka,Nitish ji ki alag koshish rahi aur dono mil gaye.Nitish ji ke saath khade huye BJP ke log,aur mera apmaan shuru ho gaya.Nitish ji ne saarvjanik roop se mujhe neech keh ke sambodhit kiya. pic.twitter.com/PjdvP18RnA
— ANI (@ANI) December 10, 2018
According to the PTI report, in his resignation letter to PM Modi, Upendra Kushwaha wrote, “I stand dejected, betrayed by your leadership. It’s unfortunate that the government’s priority is not to work for the poor but to fix political opponents.” He also declined to attend the NDA meeting which was scheduled to be held at Parliament House complex at 4 pm today.
Kushwaha cited many unrealistic reasons behind his decision to leave the NDA. However, the main reason behind quitting the NDA is that he has been upset with the BJP after it asserted that the RLSP would not be given more than two seats in Bihar in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The RLSP had got three seats in the last General Elections in 2014.
In the last Lok Sabha elections, RLSP won all the three seats riding on the Modi wave. However, in the Bihar state assembly elections, the RLSP contested 23 out of 243 seats as a part of NDA but managed to win just two seats. It shows the poor winnability of the party. So overall, his exit from the NDA appears to be a good riddance.
After JD(U)’s return to NDA, Kushwaha’s political capital has been taken care of by CM Nitish Kumar. In fact, Kushwaha himself is an ex-JD (U) leader. After being expelled from the party, he floated his own outfit in 2013 and joined the NDA while Nitish Kumar’s JD (U) was out of the BJP led NDA alliance. Now, NDA that required Kushwaha in 2014, does not require him politically and electorally in 2019 Lok Sabha elections and that’s why NDA refused to give RLSP more than two seats despite long negotiations.
Speculations are rife that Upendra Kushwaha is set to join hands with the Mahagathbandhan. Also, in that case, the contentious question will be of seat sharing as the RLSP would demand at least four seats. Sharad Yadav and Manjhi would also demand one seat each. In 2014, the RJD contested on 27 seats, the INC fielded its candidate on 12 seats while the NCP fought on just one seat. Now, when Tariq Anwar is in the Congress camp, it would be interesting to see, what would be the Mahagathbandhan’s seat-sharing arrangement.
From whose quota #UpendraKushwaha will be accomodated? In '14 RJD contested on 27 INC 12 & NCP 1. Now Tariq Anwar is in Congress. RLSP will demand min 4 seats. Sharad Yadav & Manjhi also need to be given 1 seat each. Could be RJD 25 INC 9 RLSP 4 Sharad 1 Manjhi 1 @iamnarendranath https://t.co/gEMF50G3wd
— Amitabh Tiwari (@politicalbaaba) December 10, 2018
Bihar sends 40 MPs to Lok Sabha. According to reports, the BJP-JD(U) alliance is likely to contest on 17 seats each and Paswan’s LJP may get six seats after the exit of RLSP from the NDA.