Will quit party, Rajya Sabha in March, says rebel JD(U) MP

Rebel JD(U) MP Upendra Kushwaha, who had cross-voted on FDI in the Rajya Sabha, will quit his Upper House membership and float a new political party in March next year. He has been suspended by the party for indiscipline.

Kushwaha, a prominent leader from Nalanda and once considered close to Nitish Kumar, fell with the Chief Minister twice in the last six years. He quit the party and rejoined it before the 2010 Assembly polls. Though he was made a Rajya Sabha MP, Kushwaha renewed his attack on the party leadership, particularly for "importing leaders from Lalu Prasad's RJD before the polls".

Kushwaha told The Indian Express: "Though the JD(U) issued a whip on the day of the voting in the RS, no leader from the party asked me to vote for or against the motion." He added that he was hurt after not being consulted and took his call (by voting in favour of the UPA). Kushwaha, who has floated an apolitical outfit, Bihar Navnirman Manch, said: "I am going to Delhi and will resign from the RS and the party in two-three days. We will organise a big rally in March and announce a new political party."

He claimed the support of former JD(U) MP Arun Kumar, former LJP MLA Satish Kumar (also once a key Nitish Kumar man) and former JD(U) MLA Sudhanshu S Bhaskar. Asked about disgruntled JD(U) MPs Manganilal Mandal and Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh, he said: "I am not sure about their support." He said that he fell out with Nitish Kumar because he started "taking up issues like corruption and increasing influence of the bureaucracy in the government".

Kushwaha is already facing a disqualification proceeding against him in the RS. Upper House sources revealed that the committee looking into his case has found him to be violating norms and a fit case for disqualification. His vote would constitute violation of the party whip — the most potent evidence for his disqualification. Party leader in the RS Shivanand Tiwari has announced that the JD(U) will seek his disqualification for violation of party whip.

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