Upendra Kushwaha resigns as Union minister: RLSP chief flays Narendra Modi for Bihar special package 'jumla'

Union minister and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha, who has been expressing his discontent with the BJP in Bihar over the past few weeks, resigned from the Cabinet on Monday. Before sending his resignation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kushwaha also skipped the meeting called by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) earlier in the day.

His decision to resign as the Minister of State for Human Resource Development deals a blow to the BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. It comes a day before the Winter Session of Parliament is slated to begin on Tuesday.

Briefing the media, Kushwaha claimed that Modi nither met the expectations of the people of Bihar, nor did he fulfil the promises the BJP had made. He also said that the BJP was working on an agenda set by the RSS and was diverting attention from the real issues that concern the country.

In his resignation letter to Modi, Kushwaha wrote: "The promise of providing Bihar a special package was the biggest jumla."

For weeks, the RLSP chief has been targeting the BJP and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar —  a key ally of the ruling party — upset over seat-sharing in Bihar for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Soon after BJP president Amit Shah announced that his party and the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) would fight from an equal number of seats in Bihar, Kushwaha had demanded a larger seat share for his RLSP.

File image of Upendra Kushwaha.

Upendra Kushwaha.

Reports say that the RLSP may now join hands with the Opposition in Bihar, which includes Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress.

RSLP fought from three constituencies in the 2014 general elections, but Kushwaha now wants a bigger chunk for his party, claiming that it has grown in strength in the past five years. On 17 November, Kushwaha had asked the BJP to reach a consensus over the seat-sharing agreement in Bihar.

A meeting between RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and Kushwaha, on 26 October, had set political circles abuzz with a possibility of the two parties joining hands. Kushwaha had later clarified that there was no political meaning behind the meeting.

The RSLP chief has time and again flip-flopped on his relationship with the BJP. In the past, Kushwaha had also alleged that Amit Shah had ignored him when he had sought a meeting. Earlier, he had also stated that his party would continue to maintain its alliance with the BJP and Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janashakti Party.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Dec 10, 2018 14:32:55 IST

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