Suspended JD(U) MP Attacks Nitish, Resigns From Party
Suspended JD(U) MP Upendra Kushwaha today resigned from the party, slamming Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's alleged "autocratic" functioning in Bihar.
Kushwaha, a Rajya Sabha member who had nearly four years of his term still left, also resigned from the membership of the Upper House last evening and vowed to shape another political formation.
The controversial MP submitted his resignation to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari at his residence. With Kushwaha's exit, JD(U) is now left with eight members in the Upper House.
A young leader, who has had a hot and cold relationship with the Bihar Chief Minister and has changed parties in the past also, Kushwaha was facing threat of disqualification this time for his "anti-party activities" and a committee of the Rajya Sabha examining the matter had recommended his disqualification unanimously.
Kushwaha, however, said his resignation from the party and Upper House membership was not taken suddenly due to any committee's recommendation and that he had announced his intention to quit on December 9 itself in Patna.
Hitting out at Nitish Kumar, Kushwaha said that he had joined hands with the Chief Minister with great hopes but the latter has "shattered the hopes of people".
"Nitish model has failed. Development of Bihar is only on paper. Law and order is worse and gangrapes are happening even in the state capital, where accused are found to have been enjoying political patronage. Bihar is back to the same situation where it was seven years ago and there is no hope of a change now," Kushwaha said.
Announcing his decision to form a new party, he said that its name will be announced in a rally in Patna on March 3 and he will strive to bring together all those who had once joined Nitish Kumar hoping for a change.
Alleging that Kumar made JD-U his "pocket organisation", Kushwaha said that he will try to give a political alternative in Bihar but remained tight-lipped on the political parties he was willing to associate with.
Going against party line, Kushwaha had during the crucial voting on FDI issue in Rajya Sabha voted in favour of the UPA recently.
Kushwaha today ridiculed the Bihar Chief Minister for his reservations against Narendra Modi saying "if Nitish considers Modi communal, then he should treat the entire BJP as communal. Treating Modi as communal and L K Advani as secular won't work.
In his resignation letter submitted to party President Sharad Yadav, he said that those who have come from other parties have replaced the dedicated party workers and he had opposed their getting tickets in the last Assembly election and alleged that "there is no democracy in the party".
Kushwaha said that four years of his Rajya Sabha term were still pending and claimed he could have continued to enjoy it had he wished so.
JD-U President Sharad Yadav, however, said that it was already decided by the Rajya Sabha Committee headed by P J Kurien that it was a fit case for termination of membership for anti-party activities.
In August last year, JD(U) whip Ali Anwar Ansari had submitted a petition seeking Kushwaha's disqualification from the Upper House under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.
The petition said Kushwaha had formed a political party, Bihar Nav Nirman Manch, which meant that he had voluntarily given up the membership of the JD(U). The party had placed him under suspension with three other Lok Sabha MPs.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari referred the petition for disqualification to the Privileges Committee for conducting a preliminary inquiry.
The Committee had held a number of sittings and Kushwaha last appeared before the panel more than six months ago.
Seven of the nine members of the Committee unanimously decided on November 8 that action should be taken against Kushwaha. All the seven members again endorsed the decision on Dec 15 and decided that his membership should be terminated, sources said.