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With caste and political equations witnessing a change in Bihar, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) – a fledging outfit launched by former JD(U) MP Upendra Kushwaha - is pitching in its bid for the sweepstakes in the 2014 general elections by making overtures for an alliance with the BJP.
Along-with office bearers of the RLSP, Kushwaha was in the national capital on Saturday for preliminary talks with the BJP leaders to pursue a pre-poll alliance.
“This is an age of alliances. If the BJP offers honorable terms, we will be keen. But if the arrangement does not work out, we will go on our own and contest all the 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state,” Kushwaha told HT.
Floated in March this year, the RLSP aims to galvanize old socialists opposing policies and programs of chief minister Nitish Kumar. “Both Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) have failed Bihar. The time has come for a third alternative to emerge”, said former MP Dr. Arun Kumar, chairman of the party’s parliamentary board.
The RLSP – which claims support amongst Most Backward Communities (MBCs) including the Kushwaha and Koeri castes – will firm up its strategies at the party’s three day national executive meet scheduled at Rajgir from July 18.
Meanwhile, talk of the JD(U) and Congress bonhomie gained substance on Saturday, with rural development minister Jairam Ramesh announcing the approval of a Rs. 4130 crore package for the construction of 5,700 kilometers of rural roads in Bihar.
This is the highest allocation for the state in the past 12 years, Ramesh said at Patna.
The decision to allot the amount under Prime Minister Gramin Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) in the current financial year was taken by the ministry in July, he added.
Meanwhile, the ruling JD(U) got a shot in the arm with a rival BJP leader Ramji Das Rishideo joining it along with his supporters on Saturday.