Kushwaha begins fast unto death for setting up of KVs

Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief and Union minister of state for human resource development, Upendra Kushwaha address a press conference. PTI

Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief Upendra Kushwaha on Tuesday began a fast unto death here in support of his demand that the Bihar government facilitate setting up of two Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) in the state.

Of the 13 KVs which were approved by the central government in August 2018 when Kushwaha was Union Minister of State for HRD, two were okayed for Bihar - one at Nawada and another at Devkund in Aurangabad district- but they were yet to take off.

Kushwaha has been alleging that the Bihar government has neither provided a temporary building for starting studies in the two KVs nor the land for construction of permanent structure for the two institutions. The RLSP president launched the stir at Miller High School ground, a stones throw from the state headquarters of the JD (U), headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, in presence of a host of opposition leaders like CPI state secretary Satya Narayan Singh, Hindustani Awam Morcha chief Jitan Ram Manjhi and Vikassheel Insaan Party founder Mukesh Sahni.

Kushwaha had on November 16 last announced that he would launch the stir from November 26 till the state government clears the way for opening up of the two Kendriya Vidyalayas. Addressing the gathering, Kushwaha recounted efforts made by him to improve education in his home state "the fruits of which did not reach the people because of the non-cooperative attitude of the state government".

He had resigned from the Union Council of Ministers and walked out of the NDA in December last year alleging that the BJP-led coalition was offering him a share of seats for the Lok Sabha polls which was "not respectable". He has since been with the Grand Alliance headed by Lalu Prasad's RJD and comprising the Congress besides the parties of Manjhi and Sahni. "My priorities can be gauged from the fact that when the sanction was given by the Modi government for setting up new Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country, two of these were approved for Bihar. But this government has been putting roadblocks out of spite", Kushwaha alleged. Notably, the two KVs in Bihar was to be set up at Nawada and Aurangabad districts. Kushwaha has earlier alleged that Kumar did not want the project to get through since one of these schools would have catered to his Karakat Lok Sabha constituency and the other to the one formerly represented by Union Minister Giriraj Singh, a BJP leader known to be a detractor of Kumar.

The RLSP chief lost the 2019 general election from Karakat constituency consisting areas of Aurangabad district while Singh contested from another seat of Begusarai and won from there. Madhav Anand, the national secretary-general of the RLSP entrusted with making the arrangements, told PTI "our party has a long list of demands with regard to education in Bihar. "But the fast unto death is to press for clearing the way for the two central schools. The state government has to contribute nothing. Even land has been donated by common people for these projects," he said. 

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