to: RLSP chief Kushwaha Patna, Mar 15 (PTI) Reminding the RJD that a collective decision had been taken by the grand alliance to give a Rajya Sabha seat to the Congress, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha on Sunday said, the decision must be adhered to.
Kushwaha was replying to a query from media persons on the RJD rejecting Congress leader and party's Bihar in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil's open letter reminding the RJD of its promise made during Lok Sabha elections that the grand old party would be given a Rajya Sabha seat from Bihar.
The grand alliance partners in Bihar comprising the RJD, Congress, RLSP, HAM(S) and the Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) had together fought the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
'The RJD had said in a press conference that it will give a Rajya Sabha seat to the Congress. It was also announced during a press conference of the grand alliance too.
'I think all political parties of the grand alliance should have adhered to the promise and parties should also adhere to the promise made in the grand alliance in future,' Kushwaha told reporters here.
Reacting to Kushwaha's statement, RJD spokesman and MLA Bhai Virendra said that it is difficult to accommodate alliance partners every time, given the RJD's strength in the assembly.
'We had promised one seat each to the Congress in the legislative council and the Rajya Sabha. We gave one seat to the Congress in the legislative council poll last time. We will see what can be done in the future,' he said.
The process to fill five Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar is currently underway and all the five candidates -- two each of the RJD and JD(U) and one BJP -- will be declared elected unopposed on the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers on March 18.
In reply to a query on the grand alliance's chief ministerial candidate, Kushwaha said a decision has not been taken about it.
'We will abide by whatever decision the grand alliance takes on the leadership issue,' said Kushwaha who pitched for creation of a coordination committee in the grand alliance for its better and smooth functioning.
The former union minister scotched rumours about 'confusion' in the RLSP's continuation in the grand alliance, saying his party is 'very much in the alliance, will remain so, and firmly fight the assembly polls to form a government in Bihar.' Noting that the people of Bihar are 'fed up' with the Nitish Kumar government as it has 'failed to deliver on all fronts' in the last 15 years, he said, Kumar had the requisite skill but he squandered the opportunity to lead Bihar forward.
Asked about state government's preparedness to deal with COVID-19, the RLSP chief said, there were not enough doctors or equipment at any government hospital in Bihar.
Kushwaha said, if any untoward incident takes place, the state will not be able to cope with it.
Pointing out that people are 'scared' about coronavirus, he expressed hope that it would not have much impact in the country and the state.
People should rather take preventive measures, he added. PTI AR MM MM