Upendra Kushwaha

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Upendra Kushwaha

NameUpendra Singh Kushwaha
DOB06 February 1960
(Age 63 Yr. )

Personal Life

Education Master of Arts in Political Science
Nationality Indian
Profession Politician
Birth Place Vaishali,  Bihar, India

Physical Appearance

Eye Color Dark Brown
Hair Color Salt & Pepper

Family

Parents

Father- Muneshwar Singh
Mother- Muneshwari Devi

Marital Status Married
Spouse

Snehlata Sinha

Childern/Kids

Son: 1

Daughter: 1

Upendra Singh Kushwaha is an Indian politician and a former Member of Bihar Legislative Council and Bihar Legislative Assembly. He has also served as the Minister of State for Human Resources and Development in the Government of India. Kushwaha is a former Member of parliament from the Karakat constituency in Rohtas district, Bihar and a former member of the Rajya Sabha as well. He was the leader of his own party named Rashtriya Samata Party (RSP) which merged into Janata Dal (United) (JDU) in 2009. Latter, he formed Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), which also merged with JD(U) in 2021. On 20 February 2023, he resigned from all positions of Janata Dal (United) and formed his own party called Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal due to his political problems with JD(U) & Nitish Kumar.

Early life

Upendra Singh was born to Muneshwar Singh and Muneshwari Devi[8] on 6 February 1960 in Vaishali, Bihar into a middle-class family. He graduated from Patna Science College and then did MA in Political Science from BR Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur. Kushwaha also worked as a lecturer in the politics department of Samata College. Later he added Kushwaha to his name

Political career

Upendra Kushwaha stepped into the world of politics in 1985. From 1985 to 1988, he was the state general secretary of Yuva Lok Dal. As per political analysts, he enjoyed the support of voters of the Kushwaha caste in the various districts of the Magadh and Shahabad division, which includes Jahanabad, Gaya, Arwal, Aurangabad, Arrah, Rohtas, Buxar and Samastipur. Hence, the majority of the political workers accompanying Upendra Kushwaha hail from this region. While there are other districts, where the members of the Kushwaha caste are not under his influence.

Later, he became National General-Secretary, Yuva Janata Dal, 1988–93. He had also worked as General-Secretary for Samata Party, 1994–2002. Kushwaha was Member of Bihar Legislative Assembly in 2000-2005 and appointed as Deputy Leader (Samata Party) Bihar Legislative Assembly. In March 2004 after loksabha election Sushil Modi was elected to Loksabha and the same time number of MLA's of JD(U) increased than BJP. Since leader of JD(U) changed his party. So kushwaha became leader of opposition.

Upendra Kushwaha addressing a gathering, on the occasion of the CBSE Teachers' award 2015, in New Delhi on 3 September 2016.
Kushwaha started his electoral politics in 2000 winning from Jandaha. He was dismissed from the Janata Dal (United) in 2007. 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. In November 2009, the party was merged into the Janata Dal (United) with the mending of ties between Kushwaha and Kumar.

Kushwaha parted his ways with Janata Dal (United) on two occasions, but after the split of 2013, his political graph went down and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party suffered massive defeats in various elections, most notably in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 and the assembly elections of 2020. The weaning away of support of Kushwaha caste also resulted in setback for JD(U), which was reduced to 43 seats in 2020 election to Bihar Legislative Assembly. This led to a merger in which RLSP was merged into its parent JD(U) and Kushwaha was made party's parliamentary board president. Soon after his induction into JD(U), Kushwaha was nominated to the Legislative Council, the upper house of Bihar Legislature.

After 2022, anti-coalition politics

Kushwaha engaged in anti-coalition politics against the Mahagathbandhan (Bihar) in 2023, when he challenged the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav as the successor of Nitish Kumar. In several press conferences, he claimed that JDU had weakened and there was need to strengthen it once again by reviving the core support base of the party. Kushwaha also demanded a greater role for the Koeri caste in the electoral politics of Bihar. He accused the incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Tejaswi Yadav of grabbing the political rights of other OBC castes and further stressed that after the Yadavs and Kurmis, the premiership of the state of Bihar should pass into the hands of a Kushwaha leader, considering that the leader of these three castes together launched the Triveni Sangh political party, back in the 1930s. He also demanded that Extremely Backward Castes, which have been neglected for long in the electoral politics, should play an active role and urged Kumar and Yadav to take steps to push them forward.

Attack on convoy

Amidst political crisis in the state, and Kushwaha being an important factor steering it, the convoy of Kushwaha was attacked during a visit to Bhojpur. It was later found that the attackers belonged to an organisation called "Kushvanshi Sena" and they had ideological conflict with the former union minister. The Sena members also alleged that they just showed black flags to the convoy and the supporters and political activists of Kushwaha thrashed them in actual.

Virasat Bachao Yatra

Soon after formation of new political party called Rashtriya Lok Janata Dal, Kushwaha announced the launch of Virasat Bachao Yatra, a statewide tour, which included visiting important places in Bihar and connecting with ground level political workers to gain public support against the Nitish Kumar government. The yatra, in its first phase, started from Bhitiharwa Village of West Champaran district and covered Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Bajpatti, Madhubani, Araria, Madhepura, Samastipur and Saran district. The second phase of this tour was planned to cover Nalanda, Sheikhpura, Bhagalpur, Nawada, Gaya, Rohtas, Sasaram, Bhojpur, and Arwal districts.

Ideology

On Reservation

In 2022, when he was serving as the Parliamentary Board president of Janata Dal (United), Kushwaha accused Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) of plotting to destroy the caste based reservation for the Other Backward Castes. He also criticised the key leadership of BJP for remaining silent upon the issue of conducting a nationwide "caste based census". According to him, while he was serving as Union Minister, as an ally of BJP, the senior leaders of BJP promised to conduct a “caste based census”.

On Farm Bills

The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) of Kushwaha organised Kisan Choupals against the Farm Bills. These village level conferences were aimed at making farmers aware of the provisions of the Farm Laws, brought by National Democratic Alliance government in 2021. According to the political activists of RLSP, the laws were not in interest of small farmers. He further announced the participation of his political workers in the all india protest organised by the farmers in Delhi , if the bills were not taken back. Kushwaha himself asked the Narendra Modi government to take the bills back, as it was supposed to serve the interest of only big farmers and the corporates and was detrimental for small and marginal farmers.

On Liquor ban

In 2016, Government of Bihar under Nitish Kumar passed a bill in the Bihar Legislative Assembly to ban the liquor consumption in the state. Severe punishment were imposed on those foung guilty, in a bid to stop the liquors to reach from supply to the source of consumption. Kushwaha in 2022, in a press statement, spoke against the liquor policy of government. He was a part of Janata Dal (United) then, yet, he was against the way, the ban was being implemented. He accused the government officials of colluding with the suppliers and asked the people to come forward to make the prohibition successful.

Reservation in private sector

In 2016, while he was serving as Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Kushwaha expressed his views on reservation in private sector for the Other Backward Class. In a rally, organised in commemoration of social reformer Jyotiba Phule, by former Member of Parliament Raj Kumar Saini, he alleged that the dominant section of society have say in all wings of administration and the OBC have no representation in some of the core sectors of economy. Saini on his part supported Kushwaha and demanded that organisations working for the welfare of OBCs should raise voice against the under representation of OBCs in some of the key institutions.

Tenure as Minister of State (MoS) for Education

On collegium system

While holding the office of Minister of State (Human resource development), now called Ministry of state (Education), Kushwaha raised the demand of reforming the Collegium System of appointment to higher judiciary. Highlighting the humble beginning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and incumbent President Ram Nath Kovind, he asked: why opportunity to become judges of higher judiciary should be closed for the communities considered as "weaker section". Kushwaha further alleged the Supreme Court judges of worrying about their own successors and practicing nepotism. Following the demand the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party also organised the discussion on reforms in Collegium System in ten state capitals beginning with New Delhi.

In order to support the reservation in the judiciary for the "weaker section", Kushwaha also launched Halla Bol Darwaja Khol Campaign. During the same time, an anti-reservation showdown was being organised across the state of Bihar and while travelling to East Champaran to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Kushwaha was greeted with protest by some of the anti-reservationists. According to the Police, a person called Sumit Mishra was arrested in connection with the misbehaviour with Kushwaha, while sixty other unidentified protesters remained out of reach.

On education

Kushwaha alleged the RJD rule of 15 years in the state of Bihar to be responsible behind sorry state of affairs of the educational institutions. In a convention organised by his party RLSP in Rajgir during his tenure as Union Minister, he put many demands before the Nitish Kumar government to rectify the education system of the state. The demands were aimed towards bringing all round development of lower as well as higher educational institutions.

Kushwaha was has raised the demand of bringing quality education to Indian villages. According to him, 90% of those who are in need of education are found in villages; there has been massive degradation in quality of government schools in these villages. Meanwhile, he also lauded the Central Board of Secondary Education for maintaining a decent quality of education across the country.

In 2016, he inaugurated the new infrastructure and new building for the All India Council for Technical Education. Kushwaha, here at the inauguration meeting, expressed concern over engineers getting minimum salary of 10,000-12,000 in the country after being graduated from private technical institutions. He urged to create a system, where the companies themselves visit the campuses to pick up meritorious engineers.