Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief Upendra Kushwaha, on a fast unto death since Tuesday seeking clearance for a couple of central school projects by the Bihar government, on Saturday relented after his partners in the Grand Alliance insisted that he give up starving himself and brace for “bigger battles that lie ahead”. The former Union minister, who was taken to a hospital here on Friday after his health deteriorated considerably, broke his fast by partaking a glass of fruit juice which was offered to him by RJD leaders Tejashwi Yadav and Sharad Yadav, former chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha president Jitan Ram Manjhi and Vikassheel Insaan Party founder Mukesh Sahni.
“We are relieved that Kushwaha has broken his fast. He is diabetic and his health was seriously imperilled. We hope he would be discharged from the hospital in a day or two. It is just the beginning, not the end, of our fight against the callousness of the Nitish Kumar government,” RLSP national secretary general Madhaw Anand said.
Kushwaha had launched his “Aamaran Anshan” in protest against the state government’s refusal to clear the decks for establishing Kendriya Vidyalayas at Aurangabad and Nawada districts the sanctions for which were given in 2017 when the RLSP chief was the Union minister of state for HRD.
RLSP leaders have alleged that Kumar, who has a strained relation with Kushwaha, had stalled the projects since the proposed site in Aurangabad fell under the Karakat Lok Sabha seat which the RLSP chief held until losing it in the general elections this year.
Nawada, currently held by Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, was previously the constituency of Union minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh considered also a detractor of the Bihar chief – who has shifted base to Begusarai.
Earlier, a joint press conference was held at the RJD’s state headquarters where leaders of all constituents of the five-party Grand Alliance condemned the state government’s “apathy” towards improving education scenario in the state and stressed the need for Kushwaha discontinuing his fast since “we have bigger battles to fight”.
Leaders of Left parties like the CPI, CPI(M) and the CPI(ML) also present at the press meet. “We are appalled that the state government is blocking the project in Aurangabad, where it does not have to spend a paisa, even the land has been donated by a local religious body.
It must be noted that most of the Kendriya Vidyalayas operating in Bihar are running from rented houses so much for the state government’s claims of concern about education,” RJD state president Jagadanand Singh said.
“So, while all leaders of the Grand Alliance and other like-minded parties are in full agreement with the cause taken up by Kushwaha, we believe that it would take a long and hard struggle to make such an indifferent regime see reason and act accordingly.
“Bigger battles lie ahead. We shall convince the RLSP chief to discontinue his fast in the interests of long-term goals,” Singh said hinting at the assembly polls due next year.
Tejashwi Yadav, heir apparent of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, said, “Kushwaha has done his job. Now it is for all to see that we want the state to have better health and
education facilities. But Nitish Kumar and his government seem to have other priorities.
Now, Kushwaha should concentrate on regaining his health so that he can fight with renewed vigour.”
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