The Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, headed by the former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, on Sunday merged with the JDU. RLSP president admitted he would abide by the leadership of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Although Kushwaha in his speech earlier had claimed the merger was unconditional and in the interest of the state, he was immediately appointed chairman of the Central Parliamentary Board of the JDU. It is also said he got an assurance his wife Snehlata Sinha would be nominated as an MLC and then appointed as a minister. However, Kushwaha denied having received any commitment for his wife.
Kushwaha said he decided to join hands and accept the leadership of Nitish Kumar for strengthening the government. "We came together in the larger interests of Bihar," he claimed.
Chief Minister Kumar, who welcomed the return of Kushwaha in JDU, said he was an old friend and his entry now would help him strengthen the party.
Kushwaha was leader of Opposition in 2004 and one of the founders of Samta party. He had left Nitish Kumar thrice in the past — 2007, 2013 and 2017. In the last assembly election, RLSP had contested 23 assembly seats in partnership with RJD, but was a failure everywhere. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election too, his party performed poorly and he had also lost the election.
Kushwaha had been critical of the working of Nitish Kumar in the past few years and had alleged the education system had collapsed under the JDU regime.