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Upendra Kushwaha-led RLSP comes under Nitish’s JDU fold after 8yrs

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Patna: After a long split of almost eight years, Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) on Sunday once again came under fold of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party. The formalities of the merger were to be worked upon later in the day.

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The returning leader in his address to a press conference in Patna made this big announcement after the RLSP’s national executive committee authorised him to decide on the future course of the party. Mr Kushwaha, a former Union Minister, has been named the parent party’s Parliamentary Board Chairperson.

“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 in his media interaction.

This one of the biggest political merger comes merely 11 days after its eighth foundation day and also two days after the party suffered a major split when over 30 of its state and district level leaders in Bihar switched over to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which is JDU’s arch rival.

Meanwhile, welcoming Kushwaha and his party, CM Nitish Kumar said, “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.”

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In the eight years of its existence, the RLSP has been part of the both the NDA as well as the RJD-Congress led grand alliance in Bihar.

Mr Kushwaha has even worked as the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term.

During Bihar assembly election of 2020, the RLSP had formed a coalition with Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, which unfortunately failed to yield a single seat.

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