RLSP chief and former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha on Sunday said the five-party Grand Alliance in Bihar needs to be expanded and efforts will be made to bring Left parties on board. The coalition comprising the RJD, the Congress, the RLSP, former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM(S) and former Bollywood set designer Mukesh Sahni's VIP won just one out of the state's 40 Lok Sabha seats in the national election this year.
"We have to expand the Grand Alliance. We will make efforts to bring the Left parties such as the CPI, the CPI(M) and the CPI(ML) into the fold," Mr Kushwaha told reporters at the party's office in Patna.
On the upcoming by-elections to five assembly and one Lok Sabha seats, Mr Kushwaha said the Grand Alliance will fight them together. While the assembly seats of Kishanganj, Nathnagar,
Belhar, Simri Bakhtiyarpur and Daraundha were vacated by legislators who contested and won the general election, the Samastipur Lok Sabha seat fell vacant following the death of MP Ram Chandra Paswan.
On his party's next move, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief said a function will be organised to commemorate the death anniversary of freedom fighter and socialist political leader Ram Manohar Lohia in Patna, where leaders of the Left parties would be invited.
"The programme, to be held at Bapu Sabhagar in Patna, will be attended by all prominent leaders of the Grand Alliance. As its convenor, I will also invite the leaders of Left parties on the occasion," he said.
Mr Kushwaha said he recently met with RJD chief Lalu Yadav, who is serving sentences in fodder scam cases, and discussed with him ways to strengthen the Grand Alliance. "He is unwell, he needs better treatment. I met him recently and held discussions about the future of the Grand Alliance and what all could be done to strengthen it," Mr Kushwaha added.