New Delhi: Ten days after he broke his alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA, Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) on Thursday joined the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA). His party would now contest elections in Bihar under Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led Mahagathbandhan, an anti-NDA alliance in the state.
The formal joining came at the Congress office in Delhi in the presence of senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel and Shakti Singh Gohil; RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav, former Janata Dal – U president and now the chief of the Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) Sharad Yadav, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) leader, former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and many others.
"Kushwaha's support will make UPA even stronger than before as we welcome him and his other leaders in the Grand Alliance," Patel said.
Kushwaha, who until recently did not tire of praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, changed his entire tune on Thursday saying the PM had failed to keep any of his promises and did nothing for the people of Bihar.
"He had told the voters that he will make education, job opportunity, and health sector stronger in Bihar so people of Bihar do not have to go outside the state to seek better education, employment, or health care. He failed to do anything. People of Bihar are still leaving the state in large numbers and that goes to prove that what Narendra Modi says is not the same as what he does. There is a vast difference in his words and his actions," the former Central Minister for state said.
Kushwaha refuted the allegations that he quit the NDA because the BJP was not willing to give him fair share of seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
"Some people are saying that I quit the NDA because I was not given a hearing by the Modi-Shah duo or I was unhappy over not getting enough seats for the next year's Lok Sabha elections but the real reason I left the NDA is because there was a vast conspiracy to finish me off politically. There are some politicians who are threatened by me and my base in Bihar," he said.
The RLSP leader also praised Congress chief Rahul Gandhi saying he promised that if his party came into power in the state elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, he would waive the loans of the farmers.
"Mr. Gandhi kept his promise and waived the loans of the farmers as soon as Congress was declared victorious in those states," he said.