RJD on Saturday received a shot in the arm ahead of the assembly polls in Bihar with rebel JD (U) leader Prabhunath Singh, once bitter critic of Lalu Prasad, joining the party with a large number of his supporters at a Janata Mahapanchayat here.
Amid thunderous applause from the audience, Singh, a Rajput leader, who had recently fallen out with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar while opposing the alleged move to provide legal teeth to sharecroppers in Bihar, held Lalu Prasad's hand and waved at the crowd.
Conspicuous by his absence in the Mahapanchayat organised by Singh, who was elected to Lok Sabha from Maharajganj thrice on JD(U) ticket, was LJP leader Ramvilas Paswan, who was away in New Delhi. Paswan had been invited by Singh.
Singh, who unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha polls from Maharajganj in the last general elections, was also founder of the Samata Party which was later rechristened as Janata Dal (United) under the leadership of George Fernandes and Nitish Kumar.
Singh, who is facing several criminal cases and trials in Chapra, Bhagalpur and Hazaribagh, went vitriolic on the Chief Minister. He alleged that Kumar had hijacked the JD(U) and was acting as a "dictator".
"All the promises made by Chief Minister to the people of Bihar have fallen flat...in fact, he is a failure on all fronts", Singh said. "A person like me can't work under a dictator", he said.