Rashtriya Lok Samta Party President Upendra Kushwaha resigned from the Union Cabinet and pulled his party out of the National Democratic Alliance on Monday, PTI reported. He said the government was diverting attention from the real issues, and that he felt “insulted” to be part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government.
Kushwaha was the Union minister of state for human resource development.
“Narendra Modi could not meet the expectations of the people of Bihar,” Kushwaha said at a press conference. “Nothing was done for Bihar’s special status. Bihar is still where it was earlier. Education and health system is non-existent.”
Kushwaha, in his resignation letter to Modi, called it unfortunate that the government’s priority was to “fix political opponents by hook or crook”, PTI reported. He said his party was leaving the ruling coalition, adding that “other options are open”.
“After observing everything I feel I shouldn’t have stayed in the Cabinet even for a minute to implement RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] agenda,” ANI quoted Kushwaha as saying.
Kushwaha also criticised Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, saying Kumar’s agenda was to “destroy” him and his party, ANI reported. “This was started by BJP,” he said. “In Bihar election, seats of all allies were increased. But injustice was done to [the] RLSP.”
The Rashtriya Lok Samta Party’s relations with the saffron party and the Janata Dal (United) in Bihar turned sour last month after a disagreement over seat-sharing arrangements for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Kushwaha had earlier given the alliance time till November 30 to increase his party’s share of seats. On December 3, he dared the government to sack him.
The Congress supported Kushwaha’s decision to quit the BJP-led coalition. “Congratulations to Kushwaha ji for telling the truth to the power,” tweeted Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. “Let’s build a new Bharat.”
Surjewala said Kushwaha’s resignation letter “uncovers the underbelly of the despotic and authoritarian Modi govt [government]”.
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav supported Kushwaha’s decision to quit the alliance.
Earlier in the day, Kushwaha had announced he would not attend a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance in New Delhi, fuelling speculation that he may quit the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition a day before Parliament convenes for Winter Session. Union minister and BJP leader Narendra Singh Tomar had invited him to the meeting, according to The Indian Express.