RLSP MP backs Kushwaha in stance against NDA leadership

Patna
9 Dec 2018

Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) MP, Ram Kumar Sharma, on Sunday backed party chief and Union minister Upendra Kushwahas aggressive stance against the NDA leadership, saying there was no point in continuing in a coalition, if the party was not getting its due. Sharma has been, in the recent past, disapproving of Kushwahas tough posturing against the leadership of the NDA, especially Bihar chief minister and JD (U) president Nitish Kumar. Talking to reporters in his Lok Sabha constituency of Sitamarhi, Sharma said "one should not remain in a coalition where one is not getting ones due, not being treated with respect."
He was responding to a query about the recently held open convention of the RLSP in East Champaran where Kushwaha had launched the sharpest-ever attack on the BJP, alleging that the party was raking up the Ram Temple issue for electoral gains and its central leadership was being guided by elements in Bihar unit who had "ganged up" against him at the behest of Nitish Kumar. At the open convention, Sharma and the party’s two MLAs had remained conspicuous by their absence.
The change of tack by the Sitamarhi MP comes as a relief to the RLSP chief who was faced with the spectre of a split in the party which was floated in 2013 comprising, largely, disgruntled leaders of the JD-U belonging to the Koeri caste. However, Sharma declined to comment on whether he was in favour of the party joining the "Mahagathbandhan" comprising RJD, Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha saying "our national president has been authorized by the party to take a decision in this regard." Kushwaha had been sulking ever since the BJP and the JD-U, reportedly, reached an agreement that the two parties would contest 17 seats each in Bihar, where the total number of constituencies is 40. As per the tentative arrangement, the RLSP was to be given two seats, one less than the number it had fought and won in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Kushwaha had himself won from Karakat. The party’s third MP Arun Kumar from Jehanabad had been suspended from the RLSP two years ago. Before launching an all-out attack on the BJP, Kushwaha had urged the party to come up with a "respectable" seat-sharing formula by November 30. The Union minister has, however, stopped short of announcing a break-up from the NDA.
Reacting to Ram Kumar Sharma’s comments, BJP spokesman Sanjay Mayukh said "The MP may have expressed his personal opinion. The BJP believes JD-U, LJP and RLSP all are very much in the NDA and will fight the Lok Sabha polls next year together.' Kushwaha who had on Saturday sat on a fast in Arwal district to press the demand for land grant by the state government for setting up a Kendriya Vidyalaya there on Sunday staged a similar demonstration in Nawada. The RLSP chief who is the Union Minister of State for HRD has been rankled by the Nitish Kumar government’s insistence that a provision be made that the central schools will have 75 per cent students from within the state. He has said that accepting such a demand would require agreeing for similar provisions in other states which would adversely affect boys and girls from Bihar who went outside for their education. (PTI)