By Alok Mohit
PATNA: In what is being seen as setback for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Janata Dal (United) Parliamentary Board chairperson Upendra Kushwaha on Monday announced his resignation from the party and floated a new political outfit Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal (RLJD).
The disgruntled leader’s decision comes after days of intense with the Bihar chief minister and JD(U) leader. Kushwaha had earlier convened a two-day meeting of his supporters in Patna on February 19 and 20.
“We’ve decided to form a new party – Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal. This has been decided unanimously. I’ve been made its national president. The party will take forward the legacy of Karpoori Thakur. We’ll work towards rejecting the agreement made with RJD,” he told a crowded press conference in Patna on Monday.
Kushwaha, who also announced resignation from the legislative council, said the decision to quit JD(U) and float a new party was taken unanimously during the two-day meeting of his supporters. In the meeting, he sought suggestions from the party workers for the future political strategy moving forward.
“A new political inning is begining today. Everyone in JD(U), barring a few, have been expressing concern (over the agreement made with RJD)… A meeting was held with elected colleagues and a decision was taken…Nitish Kumar did good in the beginning. The path on which he has started walking is bad for him and Bihar,” he said.
Kushwaha had joined the JD(U) in 2021 and had been at loggerheads with Nitish Kumar since the latter announced that Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav will lead the Mahagathbandhan in the 2025 assembly elections. Kushwaha had been saying that the move would hurt the Luv-Kush equation of the state. Nitish Kumar’s caste, Kurmi, is called Luv and Kushwaha’s caste Koiri is called Kush. The two castes have been rivals of Yadavs for a long time in Bihar.
After the formation of the Mahagathbandhan government, a large chunk of Luv-Kush people is unhappy with Kumar taking Tejashwi Yadav and the RJD`s help. Kushwaha has also been harping on the same.
Reacting to Kushwaha’s decision, JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh however, termed the former parliamentary board chief of the party as an “habitual party hopper”. He also rejected Kushwaha’s charge that Nitish Kumar was no more exercising his judgment and acting on the advice of people with vested interest.