PATNA: Union minister Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) is on the verge of split as supporters of rebel party MP Arun Kumar have floated a new political outfit while remaining in the BJP-led NDA in the state. RLSP is also one of the NDA constituents in Bihar.
Sources said supporters of Arun, who was suspended from the RLSP in August 2016 on the charges of anti-party activities, would hold a political meeting in Patna on June 28 and announce his new outfit named ‘Rashtriya Lok Samata Party Secular (RLSPS)’.
“Arun, who won Jehanabad Lok Sabha seat on the RLSP symbol in 2014, will officially not join the new outfit till the next general elections mainly to avoid possibility of losing his Lok Sabha membership under anti-defection law. But he will guide the party from outside like Madhepura MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav does in the case of Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik),” a senior RLSP leader told TOI on Sunday.
He said the Election Commission has allotted ‘tractor’ symbol to the RLSPS and the new outfit would contest the next Lok Sabha and assembly elections on this symbol while remaining a constituent of the NDA in Bihar. The RLSPS would also hold a big rally in Patna in coming October where its leadership would publicly announce the motive behind forming the new party.
The RLSP had contested the 2014 general election as an NDA ally and won three Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. Kushwaha won Karakat Lok Sabha seat, Arun Jehanabad and Ram Kumar Sharma Sitamarhi seat. The RLSP also has two MLAs in the 243-member Bihar assembly — Lalan Paswan (from Chenari) and Sudhansu Sekhar (Harlakhi).
However, following some internal disputes, the RLSP’s national council, in August 2016, suspended Arun and MLA Lalan Paswan from the party for anti-party activities. After that, Arun faction approached the Election Commission to stake claim on the RLSP’s symbol of ‘ceiling fan’. As the commission is yet to take a decision, Arun supporters decided to float new outfit with new symbol.