PATNA: RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, who severed ties with the BJP and resigned from the Union council of ministers accusing PM Narendra Modi of reducing the Union Cabinet to a “rubber stamp”, on Wednesday decided to formally join the Bihar’s grand alliance after a series of talks with the Congress and RJD leaders.

Kushwaha would join the grand alliance during a joint press conference of the alliance leaders in New Delhi on December 20, sources in the Congress said.

Contacted over phone, the RLSP national general secretary and spokesperson Madhaw Anand confirmed the development and said the RLSP would formally announce its joining in the grand alliance on December 20. He said the joint press conference would be held at 4pm in New Delhi. “The venue will be finalised by Thursday morning,” he said.

Congress in charge for Bihar Shaktisinh Gohil, former Union minister Sharad Yadav, Kushwaha, RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, HAM(S) chief and former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi would address the joint press conference, Anand said.

Sources said Congress president Rahul Gandhi who is on a personal trip to Himachal Pradesh, may return to Delhi by Thursday afternoon and attend the joint press conference. “Right now, I can’t confirm about Rahul Gandhi’s presence, but many senior Congress leaders will be there,” Gohil told TOI.

Anand also informed that after the joint press conference the grand alliance leaders including Kushwaha would hold a joint meeting around 6 pm to chalk out future action plan.

Sources said, the grand alliance leaders, during the evening meeting, would constitute a coordination committee which would take a final call on the seat sharing among the alliance partners. A basic formula for seat sharing would also be discussed at Thursday meet, sources said.

Six days after quitting the BJP-led NDA, Kushwaha had on Sunday said in Patna that joining the Congress-led grand alliance was “one of the many options” before him.

Earlier on Saturday, Congress leader Ahmed Patel had called on Kushwaha in Delhi fuelling speculation that the RLSP chief may join the grand alliance.

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