The Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) of former MP Upendra Kushwaha on Tuesday, 28 September, announced that it was joining hands with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Janvadi Party (Socialist) to contest the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections in October.
Kushwaha, a former Union Minister of State, announced the coalition in the presence of the BSP and JP-S state unit chiefs in Patna, and said that it would contest all the 243 seats in the Assembly, IANS reported.
Kushwaha said that he would welcome other like-minded political parties to come on board, if they wished.
Kushwaha formed the new political front after his talks with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Leader of Opposition and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Tejashwi Yadav on seat-sharing failed to bear fruit.
Lashing out at Nitish Kumar, the RLSP chief said: “In the last 15 years, Nitish Kumar has just saved his own chair and nothing else. And to achieve it, he made several compromises. His claims on development in all sectors in Bihar are just false and nothing else. The ground reality is completely different from what he is claiming.”
"I asked top RJD leaders for a change in party leadership but they turned it down. Hence, I decided to part ways with the Grand Alliance," Kushwaha claimed, according to IANS.
Appeal to People of Bihar to Give Alliance a Chance: Mayawati
Speaking about the new alliance, BSP supremo Mayawati said, “Upendra Kushwaha will be the CM if this alliance gets blessing of people of Bihar in the polls.”
“This new alliance aims to free people of Bihar from the problems of unemployment, poverty and floods. I appeal to the people of Bihar to give a chance to this alliance. The poor, downtrodden, farmers and youths of the state have been ignored by previous governments,” Mayawati said on Tuesday, according to ANI.
When Does Bihar Go to the Polls?
General elections to the Legislative Assembly of Bihar will be conducted in three phases, with voting on 28 October, 3 and 7 November, while the counting of results and their declaration will take place on 10 November, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has said.
While 71 Assembly constituencies will vote in phase 1, 94 Assembly constituencies will do so in phase 2, and 78 Assembly constituencies will cast their ballot in phase 3.
The term of the Bihar Assembly is due to expire on 29 November.
(With inputs from ANI and IANS.)