NEW DELHI: In a big setback for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) supremo Upendra Kushwaha resigned as Union Minister from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Council of Ministers on Monday.
Confirming the development, news agency ANI reported, quoting sources, that Upendra Kushwaha has resigned as Union Minister.
Sources: RLSP Chief Upendra Kushwaha resigns as Union Minister pic.twitter.com/1wKs7AXI3H
— ANI (@ANI) December 10, 2018
He has also reportedly sent his resignation to the PMO for approval.
Kushwaha's move has triggered speculations that his party may soon end ties with the BJP-led NDA.
Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha resigned as a Union Minister on Monday, sources said, amid speculations that the RLSP would split from the NDA
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) December 10, 2018
Kushwaha is also likely to address a press briefing later today to explain why he decided to quit the BJP-led NDA government.
The RLSP chief was reportedly upset with the BJP central leadership over the distribution of seats for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Earlier this morning, Kushwaha had said that he won't attend today's key meeting of all NDA allies.
''I will not participate in the meeting of NDA allies today,'' RSLP chief had told ANI.
It is to be noted that a crucial meeting of all NDA constituents had been called today to discuss the strategy to deal with the Opposition parties post declaration of results of the assembly elections held in five states held recently.
If the sources are to be believed, the RLSP chief, who has earlier rejected BJP's seat offer for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, was mulling to end ties with the NDA for quite some time.
The Bihar-based party was to take up this issue at ‘Chintan Shivir’ - a key meeting of RLSP leaders scheduled for Wednesday, December 12.
All this comes just days after Kushwaha targeted the BJP leadership, claiming he had sought time with Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi but was denied the same.
The RLSP chief had said, “I do not know why neither Shah (Amit) nor Modi (Narendra) gave me an appointment. They may have had other preoccupations. But there are other modes of communication. There could have been at least a phone call.”
Last month, Kushwaha had alleged that Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United (JDU) supremo Nitish Kumar was trying to poach his MLAs.
“Nitish Kumar ji has been trying to poach MLAs. He has come down to destroying Upendra Kushwaha and his party, but he cannot cause any damage to me. He is a part of the NDA and so are we, he should not do such things,” Kumar had said.
Speculations have also been rife over Kushwaha inclining towards the 'Mahagathbandhan', comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, among other smaller parties.
What further fuelled speculations was a meeting between Kushwaha and leader of opposition in Bihar Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav, who has been at the helm of RJD affairs since party supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav’s conviction in fodder scam cases.