Almost exactly eight years after he split away from the Janata Dal United (JDU), Mr Kushwaha’s journey came a full circle today as he merged RLSP into JDU.
The Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), almost exactly eight years after he split away from the Janata Dal United (JDU), came a full circle today as it merged into Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party. The returning leader has been named the JDU’s Parliamentary Board Chairperson. The formalities of the merger were to be worked upon later through the day.
A former Union Minister, Mr Kushwaha today addressed a press conference in Patna to make the announcement after the RLSP’s national executive committee authorised him to decide on the future course of the party.
“The political situation in the country and the state warrants that all like-minded people come together…I have, therefore, decided that our journey shall continue under the leadership of my elder brother Nitish Kumar,” Mr Kushwaha said.
This development comes just 11 days after its eighth foundation day and two days after the party suffered a major blow with 30 of its state and district level office bearers in Bihar joining the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the JDU arch-rival.
Mr Kushwaha’s joining of hands with Mr Kumar is seen as an acknowledgment of the fact that there are no takers for Mr Kushwaha’s Chief Ministerial ambitions in the BJP or in RJD. However, this comeback by Mr Kushwaha only strengthens Mr Kumar’s traditional “Luv-Kush” (Kurmi-Kushwaha caste) vote bank which was split during the last Assembly elections.
“We were in talks with RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha for quite some time. When I discussed it with my party members, they expressed their joy on his thought of merging the party with ours,” Mr Kumar said about the merger.