Update at 14:26 pm: As Upendra Kushwaha resigns, two of his MPs Pallam Paswan and Sudhanshu Shekhar, both set to join Nitish Kumar's JD(U)
In what comes as a huge set back for NDA coalition in Bihar, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha has broken ties with the NDA government, as per sources. He has submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and as per sources he is also on the list of those attending (Opposition) Mahagathbandhan meeting that will take place in Delhi on Monday.
Earlier on Thursday, the BJP said that it expected Union minister Upendra Kushwaha to maintain decorum and sanctity of the alliance and cautioned the RLSP chief against joining hands with "corrupt, casteist and family-based" parties like the Congress and the RJD. The BJP's Bihar unit made the remarks in the light of the barrage of attacks launched by Kushwaha at a rally in East Champaran district earlier in the day on the issues of his party not getting its due in seat-sharing among NDA constituents for the Lok Sabha polls and the saffron party raking up the Ayodhya tangle as a poll plank.
"Upendra Kushwaha is a respected minister in the Union government and an NDA ally. So, on moral and ideological grounds, he is expected to maintain decorum and sanctity of the alliance. The BJP has given due space to all its allies, with due respect to their leaders," Bihar BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand had said in a statement.
"As for terming Ram Mandir as an unnecessary issue, the BJP has been very clear about its ideological stand. Ram Mandir is an emotional issue for 125 crore Indians and the BJP is committed to building the same at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya," he had added.
After breaking away from Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U) in 2013, Kushwaha went on to float his own outfit and joined the NDA ahead of the Lok Sabha polls the following year. The BJP spokesman also said for the last four-and-a-half years, Kushwaha has always been supporting programmes and policies of the Narendra Modi government.
"We cannot say in what context he is making all these statements, he said.