BJP ally RLSP in Bihar looks set to split

Patna, Aug 19 (IANS) Infighting within Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) got worse on Friday with founder-president Upendra Kushwaha suspending a rebel MP as well as a legislator on charges of anti-party activities.

Kushwaha, who is Minister of State for Human Resource Development in the central government, has suspended Arun Kumar, who represents Jahanabad constituency in Bihar in the Lok Sabha, for six years.

Also stands suspended from the party for six years is Lalan Paswan, who represents Chenari constituency in the Bihar assembly.

Earlier, Kushwaha had sacked Arun Kumar from the post of president of RLSP unit in Bihar and sacked five senior party functionaries close to him.

On the other hand, a group of Arun Kumar’s supporters claimed they had sacked Kushwaha. They said Arun Kumar was elected the new party chief on Wednesday.

Both Kushwaha and Arun Kumar are adamant they would not reconsider their stand against each other.

Some people close to Arun Kumar also say that he might join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The RLSP is an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with three members in the Lok Sabha.

Kushwaha belongs to the agrarian Koeri community — an Other Backward Class (OBC) with 7 to 9 per cent of Bihar’s 10.5 crore population.

Arun Kumar belongs to powerful landed community of Bhumihars who account for 3 to 4 per cent of the state’s population.



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