Kushwaha slams BJP, may quit NDA after meeting Rahul

Kushwaha slams BJP, may quit NDA after meeting Rahul

Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) leader Upendra Kushwaha. PTI File Photo

Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) president and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha on Thursday came down heavily on the BJP and slammed its ally JD (U) in no uncertain terms. Amid indications that he may quit the NDA next week, Kushwaha is likely to resign from the Narendra Modi ministry after meeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi on December 10. 

Addressing his partymen at the ‘Chintan shivir’ (brainstorming meet) in Champaran, the Union Minister of State for HRD said he was strongly against the BJP raking up Ram temple issue on election-eve. “Building a temple is not the job of a political party. But the BJP has developed this habit of raking up the mandir-masjid issue on the eve of every election to polarise the voters,” said Kushwaha, who is a Union Minister in the same BJP-led NDA Government for the last 55 months whom he criticised.

“Instead of focusing on constructing temple, the BJP should have focused on building ‘shiksha ka mandir’ (educational institutions), as envisioned by Baba Saheb Ambedkar,” said Kushwaha, who is a junior HRD minister since May 2014.

Coming down heavily on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for making Bihar teachers as ‘cooks’, Kushwaha said in the amended Right to Education, there was a provision which stipulated that teachers should not be allocated any work other than teaching. “But in Bihar, teachers were asked to do all sorts of work, be it cook (to prepare ‘kichri’ under mid-day meal) or BLO (booth level official, updating electoral roll),” said Kushwaha. “Nitish has spoilt one generation of students by appointing such incompetent teachers at primary and secondary level who can’t even write ‘one to 100’ correctly. And such teachers have created fake toppers in Bihar,” Kushwaha was unsparing while slamming the Bihar CM.

He argued that he was not upset over denial of a lesser number of seats for the 2019 parliamentary polls, but felt humiliated when neither PM nor the BJP chief gave him time to discuss the seat-sharing issue.

Kushwaha, who is slated to meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi on December 10, will spell out his strategy after meeting Congress chief on Monday. He is likely to tender his resignation from the Modi ministry the same day.

Kushwaha’s exit from NDA has become highly probable ever since he propagated the ‘kheer theory’ when he said ‘kheer’ (a sweet dish) could be delicious if it had rice from Kushwahas and milk from Yadavs. The analogy was in reference to the possibility of coming together of two numerically strong OBCs - Yadavs and Kushwahas- in the caste-ridden Bihar.