Union minister of state for human resource development and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) national president Upendra Kushwaha on Saturday suddenly left a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) joint press conference called for the release of a 78-page charge sheet against the Nitish Kumar-led ‘Grand Alliance’ government.
The exit of Kushwaha, who was sharing the dais with other senior NDA leaders, set off speculation that he had walked out in protest against not being given respect as the top leader of an NDA constituent and as a minister in the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.
The patience of Kushwaha apparently wore thin as leaders continued to speak. About 75 minutes into the programme, Kushwaha suddenly made an exit.
The speakers before Kushwaha were BJP state chief Mangal Pandey, senior BJP leader Sushil Modi, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, and leader of opposition in Bihar assembly Prem Kumar.
Despite repeated calls, Kushwaha was not available for comment.
BJP state president Mangal Pandey said that Kushwaha’s number on the list of speakers had been earlier made known to him — the list had been followed accordingly. “Perhaps he had another programme to attend,” Pandey said.
The NDA charge-sheet was released on the eve of the completion of one year in office by the ‘Grand Alliance’ government in which Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal, and the Congress are partners.
Releasing the ‘report card’ titled ‘Ek Saal, Bura Haal’, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi launched a scathing attack on the state government, saying that it has been in news for “all the wrong reasons” over the past year.
“The situation in Bihar has become worse in just one year. We have come out with a report card one day in advance, so that the chief minister can answer our questions,” Modi said.
“Why is agriculture, health, education and industries missing from the CM’s ‘Nischay’?” he asked, seeking answers to what happened to the `1.52 lakh crore agriculture roadmap, Mission Manav Vikas and other schemes.
(with agency inputs)