Kushwaha quits NDA hits out at Modi

Kushwaha quits NDA hits out at Modi

Union minister Upendra Kushwaha

Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, leader of the NDA ally RLSP, quit the Narendra Modi government on Monday accusing it of pursuing the "anti-constitutional and anti-OBC agenda" of the RSS.

Kushwaha, who announced his decision to resign from the government just six months before the next general elections and after remaining in its fold for over four and a half years, was sulking for quite some time, more so after his bete noire JD (U)’s Nitish Kumar was reinducted in NDA in 2017.

But in his resignation letter, he raised larger issues of style of governance and ideology.

"The Union cabinet has been reduced to a mere rubber stamp, simply endorsing your (Prime Minister) decision without any deliberation. Ministers and officers posted in the ministries have become figureheads as virtually all decisions are taken by you, your office and the BJP president, which is anti-constitutional," he said in his resignation letter.

Kushwaha also told Modi in his letter that it was not just his "attitude" towards Bihar that pained him "a lot" during his term as a Union minister but his (Modi's) "opaque style of functioning and non-democratic leadership" also left him "disappointed and dismayed".

After blowing hot and cold for the last few months, Kushwhala finally quit accusing Modi of "systematically dismantling" the functioning of the Union cabinet and "the Constitution of India".

The RLSP chief also noted in his letter that the Modi government's priority was not to work for the poor and the oppressed but "to fix political opponents by hook or crook".

"Investigation agencies are being remote-controlled by your office and the BJP president, with the sole purpose of harassing leaders with contrary views. Constitutional offices are being undermined and virtually every institution in the government has been subjected to political agenda," he said.

The government has been "toeing" the agenda of the RSS as well as "neglecting and subverting" the agenda of social justice enshrined in the Constitution, he also noted, citing reasons for his resignation from the prime minister's council of ministers.

"Before becoming prime minister, Modiji talked about extending social justice to dalits, OBCs and all other suppressed classes. The entire nation, including people from Bihar and our party, posed faith in him. But Modiji failed to fulfill his promises," Kushwaha said, later announcing his party's decision to quit NDA and its government at a press conference at his official residence.

He said the OBCs are "feeling cheated" by the Modi government as it is "silently implementing" the RSS agenda.

"Crores of money was spent on the conduct of a caste census but its report is yet to be published. The prime minister had said that the sub-categorisation of the OBCs will help take the benefits of reservation to extremely backward classes and a commission under Justice G Rohini was set up for this. More than a year has passed. The report of the commission is yet to come," he said.

He also raised the issue of the implementation of department-wise roaster system for appointment of teachers in the universities "which is denying opportunities to the OBC".

"Promise of special package to Bihar has been the biggest jumla of the (Modi) government," he said.

Kushwaha said his party will soon take a decision on whether to contest the Lok Sabha polls next year with the Grand Alliance of the Opposition or go it alone in Bihar.