INVOKING THE “founding fathers of the Constitution” and accusing the NDA government of toeing the RSS line, RLSP chief and HRD Minister of State Upendra Kushwaha Monday capped his bitter fallout with the BJP over seat-sharing in Bihar for the Lok Sabha elections by resigning from the Union council of ministers and walking out of the ruling alliance.
In his resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Kushwaha said that he felt “dejected and betrayed by your leadership”.
Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Kushwaha said he would not attend the meeting of Opposition leaders ahead of the Parliament session. But he maintained that joining the Opposition’s “grand alliance” was one of three options he had, apart from contesting the elections alone and forming a third front.
In Patna, the BJP described Kushwaha’s move as “political harakiri” while its ruling ally JD (U) said it would have “little impact” on the NDA. RLSP’s two MLAs in the state, however, maintained that they would continue in the NDA for now.
In his letter, Kushwaha took aim at the NDA government, its functioning and the influence of the RSS. “The Union Cabinet has been reduced to a mere rubber stamp, simply endorsing your decision without any deliberation. Ministers and officers posted in ministries have become figureheads as virtually all decisions are taken by you, your office and the BJP president,” he wrote.
- “My conscience does not permit me to be a part of a government that has failed to fulfill its promises and betrayed the aspirations of our founding fathers of the Constitution…,” the letter said.
- “The government has been toeing the agenda of RSS which is anti-constitutional and neglecting and subverting the agenda of social justice enshrined in the Constitution for which we have supported NDA,” Kushwaha wrote.
Referring to Bihar, Kushwaha wrote that the promise of providing a special package was the “biggest jumla”.
The RLSP chief also slammed the BJP for not upholding its commitments to the RLSP, which contested from three seats during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. “Even the number of seats, which was allotted to my party in the beginning, has been reduced…,” he wrote.
In Patna, Bihar Health Minister and former BJP state chief Mangal Pandey said: “Kushwaha has done political harakiri by quitting NDA. Does one forgo an express train for a local train?”
JD (U) Purnea MP Santosh Kushwaha said: “His exit will not make any difference to NDA.”
Meanwhile, the two RLSP MLAs, Sudhanshu Shekhar and Lalan Paswan, claimed that with the resignation of Kushwaha, they constituted “the real RLSP”.