New Delhi: In yet another addition to the spurt in changing political stripes just ahead of the general elections 2019, former BJP ally Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) received a rude shock on Friday as its national general secretary Ram Bihari Singh resigned from the party.

Singh accused party president Upendra Kushwaha of sabotaging the party’s interests by breaking away from the NDA, while also levelling charges of taking bribes for tickets.

Kushwaha was, until very recently, an ally of the BJP in the National Democratic Alliance and MoS of human resource development ministry (HRD). The self-proclaimed OBC leader belongs to the Koeri community, a sub-caste that accounts for some 6% of voters in Bihar, which he has been touting as a bargaining chip. He joined the Congress-led mahagathbandhan in Bihar after breaking away with NDA.

In a letter to Kushwaha, Singh said, “I had told you that breaking away from the NDA was not in the interest of the party. I had raised my concerns on the party platform at the Valmikinagar convention.”

Claiming that democracy in RLSP had come to an end, Singh made a damaging allegation. “You consider, from among higher castes, only such people as leaders who pay you money,” Singh said.

"You say that none in the world can buy you, and yet you also accept the allegations made by Pradeep Mishra: you farmed out the Motihari seat ticket in lieu of money. In such a scenario, I cannot walk with you,” Singh said.

Meanwhile, the BJP believed Kushwaha had proved quite useless politically in the last 2015 Bihar Assembly polls when the RLSP had strong-armed the larger party to give it 23 seats to contest but had lost all but two.

While the party had won all the three Lok Sabha seats it was given by the BJP in 2014 general elections, the victories had been largely attributed to the Modi wave.

Moreover, Kushwaha’s enmity with Bihar chief minister and JD(U) chief Kumar is largely responsible for his political behaviour. Kushwaha had been projecting himself as the primary face of OBCs and thus attempting to dwarf Kumar’s OBC politics. In October, Kumar had responded by organising a caste congregation of Koeri-Kurmi castes in Patna.

Following China's block on listing Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as ‘global terrorist’, France has voiced its support for India in its fight against terrorism.

The French government on Friday stated that France has decided to freeze the assets held by the JeM chief Azhar. The French interior ministry, foreign and finance ministries jointly issued a statement saying they would consider putting Masood Azhar on the European Union list of people suspected of terrorism.

The statement issued by France stated that the Jaish-e-Mohammad had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack which claimed the lives of more than 40 soldiers. Therefore, under the Monetary and Financial code, France has made the decision to freeze Azhar's assets.

France also said they would raise the matter with the European Union to place JeM chief in a list of groups, people and entities involved in terrorism. The US, the UK and France had initiated the move to list Azhar as a global terrorist after the Pulwama attack.

11 nations have supported the move, with the exception of China who chose to veto the move for the fourth time. It was reported that seven out of the eleven countries are part of the United Nations Security Council, four of which are permanent members. The other four are eminent nations not a part of the Council.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs issued statements thanking the nations for their support in the initiative. The ministry also expressed disappointment at China’s block and called China "an extended arm of Pakistan on the international issue".