Rashtriya Lok Samta Party

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Rashtriya Lok Samata Party
PresidentUpendra Kushwaha
FounderUpendra Kushwaha
Founded3 March 2013 (10 years ago) (2013-03-03)
Dissolved14 March 2021 (2 years ago) (2021-03-14)
Split fromJanata Dal (United)
Merged intoJanata Dal (United)
ECI StatusState Party
AllianceNational Democratic Alliance (2014—2018)
United Progressive Alliance (2018—2020)
Grand Democratic Secular Front
Election symbol
Indian Election Symbol Ceiling Fan.svg

Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (abbreviated as RLSP; translation: National People's Equity Party) was a political party in India led by Upendra Kushwaha. It was launched on 3 March 2013 and is based in the state of Bihar.[1][2] The party was formed in opposition to Nitish Kumar and his Janata Dal (United).[3] It has faced multiple rebellions and desertions since 2015.[4][5][6] On 14 March 2021, Upendra Kushwaha has merged RLSP with JDU.[7]

History of the party[edit]


Bihar state headquarter of Rashtriya Lok Samata Party.

Upendra Kushwaha was dismissed from the Janata Dal (United) in 2007.[8] Kushwaha founded the Rashtriya Samata Party in February 2009. The party was formed in the backdrop of alleged marginalisation of the Koeri caste and autocratic rule by the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar. The formation of the party was supported by Chhagan Bhujbal, the deputy chief minister of Maharashtra.[9] In November 2009, the party was merged into the Janata Dal (United) with the mending of ties between Kushwaha and Kumar.[8]

On 4 January 2013, Upendra Kushwaha who at the time was a Rajya Sabha member resigned from the Janata Dal (United). He alleged that the Nitish model had failed and that the law and order situation was becoming as bad as it had been 7 years ago. He further alleged that the Nitish Kumar runs his government through autocratic means and that he had turned the Janata Dal (United) into his "pocket organisation".[3]

Formation and early years[edit]

Kushwaha launched the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party in a rally in Gandhi Maidan, Patna on 3 March 2013.[10] At the time of formation, Kushwaha had stated that the party will attempt to overthrow the National Democratic Alliance in the state of Bihar. However, following the departure of the Janata Dal (United) from the alliance, the party joined the National Democratic Alliance.[11] In the subsequent 2014 Indian general election, it contested 3 parliamentary seats in Bihar (Sitamarhi, Karakat and Jahanabad) as part of the alliance and won all of them.[12] Upendra Kushwaha was elected from the Karakat constituency and was appointed as the Minister of State of Human Resource Development.[13] In the following 2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly election, the party contested 23 out of 243 seats as part of the alliance but was able to have its representative elected from only two seats.[14]

Upendra Kushwaha unveiling the plaque to inaugurate the newly constructed office complex of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), a statutory body of Govt. of India, Ministry of HRD, in New Delhi.

Factionalism and desertions[edit]

From late 2015 onward, the party was divided into two factions; one led by Upendra Kushwaha and the other led by Arun Kumar, the member of parliament from the Jahanabad constituency. In 2016, the faction of Arun Kumar held a meeting which announced the replacement of Kushwaha with Arun Kumar as the leader of the party. Lalan Paswan, a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly from the party had also attended the meeting. Kumar claimed that his faction was the real representatives of the party.and decided to move to the Election Commission of India staking claim to the party name and symbol while further accusing Kushwaha of adopting autocratic means of running the party. In retaliation, the Kushwaha faction constituting the disciplinary committee of the party recommended the suspension of both Arun Kumar and Lalan Paswan for "indiscipline and anti-party activities". The disciplinary committee was headed by Ram Kumar Sharma, the other member of parliament from the party.[15]

In June 2018, the party formally split with the faction of Arun Kumar forming th )Rashtriya Samata Party (Secular).[4] In the same year, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party left the National Democratic Alliance. The party had been involved in an argument with the alliance over seat sharing arrangement for the upcoming general election while targeting the Janata Dal (United) which had rejoined the alliance.[16] This led to rebellion from all the three state legislators of the party, who declared that they represented the real party, raising objections that they intended to remain in the alliance. The legislators were at the time attempting to get Sudhanshu Shekhar included in the Council of Ministers of Bihar which was led by Nitish Kumar. Shekhar was one of the legislators of the state party in Bihar.[17] However on 20 December 2018, Upendra Kushwaha declared that the party had joined the opposition United Progressive Alliance.[18] Earlier in 2017, the Nagmani led Samras Samaj Party had been merged into the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party.[19] Nagmani was subsequently made the national executive of the party. In February 2019, he was sacked from the post for alleged "anti-party" activities following which he resigned from the party on grounds that Upendra Kushwaha was allegedly selling party tickets for the upcoming election.[20][5]

In the 2019 Indian general election, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party contested on 5 parliamentary seats as part of the United Progressive Alliance with Upendra Kushwaha contesting from two seats.[21] The party was however unable to win on a single seat while the alliance won just one seat in Bihar.[22] Following the election, all the three formerly dissident state legislators of the party joined the Janata Dal (United).[6]

2020 Bihar Assembly Elections[edit]

Exit from mainstream coalitions[edit]

In the wake of the 2020 Bihar Legislative Assembly election, Upendra Kushwaha pulled the party out of the Rashtriya Janata Dal led Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance),[23] the extension of the United Progressive Alliance in Bihar.[24] The party entered into an alliance with the Uttar Pradesh based Bahujan Samaj Party and the minor Janatantrik Party (Socialist);[25] according to Kushwaha both the major alliances were no different from each other.[26] According to the Dainik Bhaskar, the unorthodox alliance was symptomatic of a pattern of shrinking space for smaller parties leaving them with less leverage in seat sharing negotiations within larger alliances.[27] Following the new arrangement, the state president of the party, Bhudeo Choudhary resigned from his position and joined the Rashtriya Janata Dal.[28] This was followed by the national general secretary Madhav Anand resigning from his party membership while stating that the decision for an alliance with minor players was "inconsequential" and could potentially finish the party.[25] Subsequently, the new state president of the party, Bharat Bind resigned to join the Rashtriya Janata Dal as well.[23]

During the campaign stage, the new coalition was merged with another smaller one consisting of the Telangana based All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and the Devendra Prasad Yadav led Samajwadi Janata Dal Democratic to form the Grand Democratic Secular Alliance, this alliance also included the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party and declared Upendra Kushwaha as the candidate for the position of Chief Minister of Bihar.[29] In the meantime, the former member of the legislative assembly Ajay Pratap joined the party.[30]

fielding of candidates[edit]

Relying upon its vote base which is Kushwaha caste, RLSP fielded 40% Kushwaha candidates in the elections . The Grand Democratic Secular Front of which RLSP was a constituent member relied primarily upon the votes of castes like Kushwahas, Ravidasis, and Muslims . RLSP in the first phase of elections contested a total of 42 seats amongst which it gave ticket to 17 candidates of Kushwaha caste while its ally AIMIM placed its candidates in Muslim dominated areas of Bihar.[31] Similarly in the list of its 37 candidates in the second phase also Koeri candidates were dominant accounting for 18 seats.[32]


RLSP failed to grab any seat but its allies AIMIM and BSP ended up getting 6 seat overall. The percentage of vote earned by AIMIM was smaller as compared to the RLSP but unlike the former it emerged stronger in the Simanchal region of Bihar.[33] It also showed its strong presence on many seats including Dinara and Saffron.[34] [35]

Merger into JD(U)[edit]

Following the poor performance of the party in 2020 Bihar assembly elections, the speculation of Upendra Kushwaha's merger with JD(U) rose again. This speculation, however was not clear until March 2021, which led many party leaders including acting state president of RLSP, Veerendra Kushwaha joining hands with the Rashtriya Janata Dal. The party finally merged into JDU, from which it was formed as a result of split in 2013 and Kushwaha was made the president of parliamentary board of the JD(U). The merger and the heartwarming welcome to Upendra Kushwaha was seen as the attempt to revive JD(U)'s old social coalition of Kurmi-Koeri castes, which was utilised by Nitish Kumar to oust the Rashtriya Janata Dal from power after the 1990s.[36]

Electoral performance[edit]

State elections in Bihar[edit]

Election Votes Seats Coalition Ref.
# % ± Pos. # ± Pos.
2015 976,940 2.56 Steady 6th
2 / 243
Steady 7th National Democratic Alliance [37]
2020 744,221 1.77% Steady TBA
0 / 243
Decrease 2 Grand Democratic Secular Front

General elections in Bihar[edit]

Election Votes Seats Coalition Ref.
# % ± Pos. # ± Pos.
2014 2,460,537 6.97 Steady 6th
3 / 40
Steady 4th National Democratic Alliance [38][39]
2019 1,462,518 3.66 Decrease 3.93 6th
0 / 40
Decrease 3 Steady United Progressive Alliance [40]

See also[edit]


  1. "RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha quits as Union Minister". Business Line. 10 December 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  2. Lansford, Tom, ed. (2015). "India – National Democratic Alliance". Political Handbook of the World 2015. United States: CQ Press. ISBN 978-1-4833-7157-3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "JD(U) MP Upendra Kushwaha resigns, attacks Nitish Kumar". The Economic Times. 4 January 2013. Archived from the original on 25 April 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Raj, Dev (29 June 2018). "Split wide open: RLSP bloc forms new party". Telegraph India. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Nagmani resigns, accuses Kushwaha of "selling" party tickets". Business Standard India. 10 February 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Jolt to Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP, all 3 of its legislators join JDU". India Today. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  7. "RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha announces merger with JDU". India Today. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Banerjee, Shoumojit (27 November 2009). "Rashtriya Samata Party merges with JD(U)". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 25 April 2020.
  9. Singh, Abhay (8 February 2009). "Upendra Kushwaha forms new political party". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 25 April 2020.
  10. Gupta, Surabhi, ed. (6 October 2015). "RLSP के संस्थापक और बिहार के काराकट से सांसद उपेंद्र कुशवाहा का राजनीतिक सफर". Aaj Tak (in हिन्दी). Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  11. Gaikwad, Rahi (23 February 2014). "BJP to ally with OBC leader Upendra Kushwaha in Bihar". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 25 April 2020.
  12. "LJP, RLSP demand same number of seats as in 2014 LS polls". Moneycontrol.com. 8 November 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  13. "List of Council of ministers in Modi Cabinet". The Hindu. 27 May 2014. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 7 April 2020. {{cite news}}: |archive-date= / |archive-url= timestamp mismatch (help)
  14. Swaroop, Vijay (10 December 2018). "Upendra Kushwaha's exit will dent NDA's poll prospect, say experts". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  15. "RLSP set for split as rival factions face off". The Indian Express. 20 August 2016.
  16. Das, Anand ST (5 December 2018). "Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP finally turns against BJP, set to leave NDA today". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  17. "RLSP legislators revolt; declare they will remain in NDA". The Economic Times. 15 December 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  18. "RLSP chief Kushwaha joins UPA in Bihar, becomes part of Mahagathbandhan". Business Standard India. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  19. "Samras Samaj Party merged into RLSP". United News of India. 29 July 2017. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  20. "RLSP removes Nagmani from national working president post". Business Standard India. 8 February 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  21. "'I Accept People's Verdict, Need For Introspection,' Says RLSP's Upendra Kushwaha". NDTV. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  22. Thakur, Rajesh Kumar (25 May 2019). "After humiliating defeat in Lok Sabha elections, blame game begins in Bihar's grand alliance". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Bihar polls: Tejashwi announces Grand Alliance's seat-sharing deal, Congress to contest from 70 seats". The Indian Express. 3 October 2020. Archived from the original on 26 March 2021.
  24. "RLSP chief Kushwaha joins UPA in Bihar, becomes part of Mahagathbandhan". Business Standard India. Press Trust of India. 20 December 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Upendra Kushwaha's Key Aide Quits Over New Alliance With Mayawati's Party". NDTV. Press Trust of India. 30 September 2020.
  26. Tewary, Amarnath (29 September 2020). "Upendra Kushwaha out of 'mahagathbandhan', stitches new alliance with BSP". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  27. "दो नहीं अब पांच गठबंधन आजमाएंगे मैदान में दांव, चुनावी जमीन का सबसे बड़ा हिस्सा एनडीए के पास" [Not two but five coalitions will contest, the largest stakeholder NDA]. Dainik Bhaskar (in हिन्दी). 1 October 2020. Archived from the original on 1 October 2020. Parties are disengaging from alliances simply because their space in Alliance Politics is getting smaller. The scope for contested seats is diminishing.
  28. Singh, Santosh (1 October 2020). "In Bihar, alliances try to outdo each other for larger share of Dalit votes". The Indian Express. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  29. "Asaduddin Owaisi, Upendra Kushwaha Form Front Of 6 Parties For Bihar Polls". NDTV. Press Trust of India. 8 October 2020.
  30. "कुशवाहा के साथ ओवैसी:ओवैसी से गठबंधन के बाद अजय प्रताप को भी रालोसपा में ले आये उपेंद्र कुशवाहा, जमुई सीट पर होगा रोमांचक मुकाबला" [Kushwaha with Owaisi: After aliance with Owaisi, Ajay Pratap has been brought to RLSP by Upendra Kushwaha, adventrous fight on Jamui constituency]. Dainik Bhaskar. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  31. "जाति की राजनीति:बिहार विधानसभा चुनाव में 3 चरण में 100 से अधिक सीटों पर लड़ेगी रालोसपा, 40% होंगे कुशवाहा प्रत्याशी". Dainik Bhaskar. Archived from the original on 26 March 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2020. Trans.:In the assembly elections, political parties are putting up more candidates for their base vote castes. The RLSP, the main constituent of the Grand Democratic Secular Front, considers the Kushwaha (Koeri) society its base vote. This front consists of 6 parties. Of these, RALOSPA will contest the most seats. The party will contest elections on more than 100 seats, including 40% Kushwaha candidates. The RLSP has fielded candidates for 42 seats in the first phase, of which 17 are Kushwaha candidates.
  32. "RLSP fielded 18 Koeri candidates in 37, BSP got 80 seats". Dainik Bhaskar. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  33. "Bihar assembly election: Owaisi factor in Seemanchal worries grand alliance". indiatoday. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  34. "Exit of smaller parties dented Mahagathbandhan's chances of regaining power in Bihar". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  35. "Owaisi, Mayawati or Upendra Kushwaha: Why RJD-led Grand Alliance lost fort Bihar to NDA?". Zee News. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  36. "RLSP leaders expel party chief Kushwaha, join RJD". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 28 March 2021. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  37. "Bihar 2015". eci.gov.in. Election Commission of India.
  38. "General Election 2014". eci.gov.in. Election Commission of India.
  39. "Lok Sabha election results 2014: Bihar". The Indian Express. 17 May 2014.
  40. "General Election 2019". eci.gov.in. Election Commission of India.

External links[edit]