In a major development in politics in the Hindi belt on Sunday, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party leader Upendra Kushwaha merged his party with Janata Dal (United) of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. The merger was announced at JD(U) office in Patna in the presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. Kushwaha founded RLSP in March 2013 and contested the 2014 general election in Bihar as a National Democratic Alliance partner. Riding the Narendra Modi wave, his party won all the three seats it contested. Kushwaha became a minister in the Union government. But before the 2019 general election, Kushwaha quit NDA. He drew blank in 2019. In the 2020 Bihar Assembly election also, he drew a blank. But he caused damage to the JD(U) of Nitish Kumar in about 30 seats. Kushwaha was looking for some fresh air to revive his political career. Kumar was also looking for someone to consolidate his vote bank. In the 2020 Bihar Assembly election, JD(U) came third with 43 seats, after Lalu Yadav’s RJD’s 75 and the BJP’s 74. Both, RLSP and JD(U), were targeting OBC votes in Bihar. Kushwaha and Kumar are old friends. Kushwaha is expected to get some important position in the party
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