A week after quitting the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha today said he was more than willing to join a "grand alliance" of opposition parties. He also praised Congress president Rahul Gandhi, saying that he has evolved into a mature leader and a likely option for replacing Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister next year.
"People of the NDA have become arrogant, particularly Nitish Kumar in the context of Bihar. It was this conceit that made us split from them," Mr Kushwaha told ANI in an interview.
The RLSP, a Bihar-based party with three members in the Lok Sabha, pulled out of the NDA on December 10. Mr Kushwaha has been hobnobbing with opposition leaders -- including Congress parliamentarian Ahmed Patel -- ever since.
The RLSP chief said that the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), another regional party headed by Ram Vilas Paswan, should also quit the alliance. "Others will not be safe from this arrogance either. The LJP must also come out of the alliance as soon as possible. These people have decided to destroy small parties, and if the LJP also gets the same feeling, they must exit the alliance at the earliest too," he added.
Incidentally, the LJP is pressing for finalisation of the ruling coalition's seat-sharing arrangement in Bihar, making it clear that it will not settle for anything less than six seats in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha.
Mr Kushwaha also attacked the Modi government on its performance over the last four-and-a-half years. "The countdown for the central government has begun. People had great expectations from it, but it ended up disappointing the people of the country. Farmers are in distress, and the youth did not get employment. So naturally, the country will be in for a change soon," he said.
He also criticised the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's Ram temple campaign, dubbing it as an issue created solely to "mislead" people for votes.
(With inputs from ANI)
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.