Shyam Razak, a Dalit face and a prominent minister in the cabinets of Nitish Kumar since 2005 as well in the governments of both Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi, has virtually revolted after his name did not figure in the list of probables saying he will not attend the swearing-in ceremony on Friday.
Razak was minister for consumer affairs in the last ministry and was believed to be an automatic choice for a ministership, especially after the loss of Jitan Ram Manjhi, who split to form the Hindustani Awam Morcha and sided with the NDA, from the Makhadumapur seat. Former speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary’s defeat to Manjhi from the Imamganj seat in Gaya also made him a strong contender.
Razak did not say much but reminded that he had learnt politics from Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan and would remain strongly attached to the party.
With Razak being dropped, speculations are rife that Uday Narain Choudhary, who was speaker of the assembly and assisted Kumar closely in the crisis in January last when Manjhi revolted, may be brought back into the cabinet via the upper house after getting him nominated as an MLC within six months.
The Janata Dal(United) had earlier moved to debar senior leaders like Brishen Patel and Narendra Singh, besides Samrat Choudhary and others, who had split the party and joined Manjhi. All of them have lost the election and they may be replaced now with Choudhary and even RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s daughter, Misa Bharti.
Nine-term MLA and another senior Dalit leader, Ramai Ram also lost the seat of Bocchaha in Muzaffarpur district leaving no prominent Dalit face in the party.