The Rashtriya Samata Party has merged with the Janata Dal (United) following its president Upendra Kuswaha’s decision to bury the hatchet and re-enter Mr. Nitish Kumar’s fold.

Mr. Kuswaha had been dismissed from the JD (U) three years ago for allegedly indulging in “anti-party” activities. He had been associated with Mr. Kumar since the latter’s Samata Party days in 1994.

Politically, as a prelude to the Bihar Assembly elections, the move should augur well for Mr. Kumar and the JD (U) as Mr. Kuswaha has a sound base among the Koeri caste.

Expressing satisfaction, Mr. Kumar said that Mr. Kuswaha had taken the “right decision” in rejoining the JD (U) and that there were “no longer any acrimonious feelings between them”.

“Even earlier, we had no such serious differences with the JD (U). We felt it was not possible to run our party on our own any longer, so it made perfect sense to re-align with the JD (U) as we both practise the same brand of politics,” said Mr. Kuswaha.

Mr. Kuswaha, who has a history of political partings, was associated with Chhagan Bhujpal’s non-political outfit, the Mahatma Phule Samata Parishad, in the past, which led to souring of his relationship with the JD (U). After his dismissal from the JD (U), Mr. Kuswaha joined the Nationalist Congress Party and served as its Bihar unit president.