After the snub from Samajwadi party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and amidst reports of rumblings within the Mahagatbandhan (Grand Alliance) in Bihar, a new ally says Congress President Rahul Gandhi is fit to be Prime Minister and the party backs him for the top post.
The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), which quit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) last month, also feels that the Uttar Pradesh-type situation in which the BSP and SP kept Congress out of the alliance in Uttar Pradesh, will not happen in Bihar.
"Our party is supporting Rahul Gandhi for Prime Minister. This is not the decision of the Grand Alliance but our party wants him to be the Prime Ministerial candidate," RLSP President Upendra Kushwaha told news agency IANS in an interview.
"Rahul is fit to be Prime Minister. In recent times he has matured. He has an understanding of the country. In his family he has seen a lot of ups and downs. He is understanding the world now. He is young and so he should be Prime Minister," he said.
The former Union Minister also said that the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress need to take "a liberal attitude" for an early decision on the distribution of seats among the parties in the Grand Alliance in Bihar for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
"RJD and Congress are big parties. In Bihar, RJD is bigger and at the national level Congress is a bigger party. If both the parties get respectable number seats, the decision will be announced soon," Mr Kushwaha said.
There are apparent differences between Congress and RJD over seats with the former keen to fight at least 12 of 40 seats in the state and latter keen to give only eight.
RLSP is likely to contest on five Lok Sabha seats in Bihar and one in Jharkhand.
Mr Kushwaha, 58, who was a minister in the Narendra Modi-led government and quit the NDA last month, said that key decisions were taken without consultations.
Citing a recent instance, he said that even ministers in the government were not aware that a 10 per cent quota for economically backward among the forward castes was going to be announced.
Mr Kushwaha also accused Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and BJP of trying to destroy his party and said it was the biggest reason for him leaving NDA.
"NDA will not win any seat in Bihar. It will suffer due to Nitish Kumar in Bihar. The health and education scenario have worsened. Law and order situation is worse than what it was before and he has lost credibility by switching sides. People have understood that getting the chair is his priority. The BJP will also suffer due to this," he said.
Asked about reports of merger talks between RLSP and Sharad Yadav's Loktrantrik Janata Dal (LJD), he said it was not about merger between two parties but bringing together those who fight for social justice.
He said Sharad Yadav will fight the Lok Sabha elections from Bihar as a constituent of Grand Alliance. Mr Kushshawa said he will be re-contesting the coming Lok Sabha elections from Karakat.
The grand alliance in Bihar comprises RJD, Congress, RLSP, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) led by former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) led by Mukesh Sahni and LJD.
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