RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha has confirmed he has got an invitation by BJP leader and Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar to attend meeting of NDA allies, but there is no word on whether he would attend the meet, to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday ahead of the Winter Session of Parliament.
Kushwaha, who is likely to announce a split from the NDA soon, has been doing last-minute posturings but RLSP sources have said it would be no surprise if the split were to be announced on Monday itself.
A source close to Kushwaha told The Indian Express, “Kushwaha ji will be in Delhi on Monday. But there is no final word on whether he would attend the meeting of NDA allies. Such meetings of allies are customary before the beginning of a Parliament session.” The source hinted that it was time for a “final call” now.
Even as the confusion over Kushwaha’s continuance in the NDA continued, rebel RLSP MP from Jahanabad, Arun Kumar, said he would continue to support the BJP in the Lok Sabha.
“Although I have parted ways with Kushwaha and now I have a different group, I have not been invited to attend the NDA meeting. However, I have no plans to leave NDA,” Kumar told The Indian Express. “I don’t understand why the BJP is becoming a slave to Nitish Kumar and his party in Bihar. I will continue my fight to save the RLSP’s honour as our party had brought more seats – three – than the JD(U) (two) in the last election.”
Ram Kumar Sharma, the RLSP MP from Sitamarhi, has also been against Kushwaha quitting the NDA. Though he has said he would go by any decision Kushwaha takes, sources said Sharma has been in touch with BJP.
Meanwhile both RLSP MLAs, Lallan Paswan and Sudhanshu Shekhar, have rebelled and have been in touch with the JD (U). Kushwaha has been also in touch with former MP and LJD leader Sharad Yadav to discuss the party’s merger with RLSP.
At the NDA meet, scheduled for 4 pm, even the JD(U)’s presence is not certain. While MP Kaushalendra Kumar said he would not be in Delhi on Monday, the party’s senior MP, Bashistha Narain Singh said he would be landing in Delhi only around 6 pm.