Upendra Kushwaha quits JD(U) following clash with Nitish; floats New Party

Upendra Kushwaha, the National Parliamentary Board president of Janata Dal-United, resigned from all party positions on Monday and launched a new political party called Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal.

This move is seen as a major setback for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, especially as it comes ahead of the 2024 general elections.

Kushwaha made the announcement during a press conference, where he stated that a new chapter was beginning for him. He also mentioned that while some members of JD(U) were concerned, he had discussed the matter with his colleagues and made the decision to leave.

Kushwaha also criticized Nitish Kumar, saying that although he started off well, the path he had taken was not good for him or Bihar.

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During a press conference, Upendra Kushwaha announced the unanimous decision to establish a new political party, called Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal, with himself as the national president. The party aims to carry on the legacy of Karpoori Thakur and work towards rejecting the agreement that was made with the RJD.

Upendra Kushwaha stated that there were meetings and discussions held in Patna over the last two days with party leaders. According to him, the leaders reached a unanimous decision to establish a new political party. Further, Kushwaha also revealed that he will be resigning from his post as an MLC in the Legislative Council.

There has been a conflict between Upendra Kushwaha and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Kushwaha had organized a two-day open session on February 19 and 20 in Patna, which was attended by numerous JDU workers. During the meeting, he asked for suggestions from party workers regarding future political strategies.

Upendra Kushwaha also stated that the current Chief Minister of Bihar is not making decisions on his own and is acting based on the suggestions of people around him. According to Kushwaha, Nitish Kumar is unable to act independently because he never made an effort to groom a successor. Had Nitish Kumar chosen a successor, he would not have had to seek one from neighboring parties.

Sources indicate that Upendra Kushwaha’s stance is significantly affecting the equation between the Chief Minister and himself. During his press conference, Kushwaha accused Nitish Kumar of “pawning” his political capital and expressed disappointment with Kumar for naming Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav of the RJD as the future leader, although Kushwaha did not mention Yadav by name. It should be noted that Kushwaha had rejoined the JD(U) in March 2021, merging his Rashtriya Lok Samata Party with the JD(U).

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