Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha has resigned from the Union Council of Ministers on Monday, December 10, as confirmed by Upendra Kushwaha, himself. He has sent his resignation to PM Modi.
Kushwaha, who has reportedly been at loggerheads with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the seat sharing formula in Bihar for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, may also resign from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after weeks of speculation.
Earlier in the day, the Minister told the media that he will not participate in the NDA meeting at Parliament House complex slated to be held at 4 pm.
“I will not participate in the NDA meeting,” he told reporters.
Kushwaha has been critical of the BJP since it announced that the saffron party and the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) would contest 17 seats each in Bihar.
Since the seat sharing announcement, Kushwaha has also been critical of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
As per the tentative arrangement, the RLSP was to be given two seats, one less than the number it had contested in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
He has been upset with the BJP after it asserted that the RLSP would not be given more than two seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, even as it went out of way to accommodate Kumar by agreeing that the saffron party and the JD(U) would fight equal number of seats.
The first signs of a rift between Kushwaha and BJP emerged after party chief Amit Shah, in a joint press conference with JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar, in October announced that both parties would contest an equal number of seats in 2019 elections and smaller allies would have to take a cut in their share to accommodate the new partner.
Hours after the announcement, Kushwaha created a stir with his “unscheduled meet” with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav at Arwal in Bihar. Earlier too, he had hinted that all was not well within the ruling coalition with his “kheer” remark. “One can prepare kheer with milk from the Yadavs and rice from the Kushwahas,” he had said.
Speculations are rife that the RLSP may join hands with the Opposition in Bihar, which includes Lalu Prasad’s RJD and the Congress. Sharad Yadav’s newly formed Loktantrik Janshakti Party is also expected to join the purported alliance.
Bihar sends 40 MPs to Lok Sabha.