Eight months before assembly elections in Bihar, Janata Dal (United) state unit president Rajiv Ranjan ‘Lalan’ Singh resigned on Monday.
The JD-U, it seems, has a crisis at hand, as Singh offered a long list of grievances — lack of democracy, unchecked powers of bureaucrats and erosion of the party president’s powers.
The Bihar government is part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, of which JD-U is a constituent.
Earlier, training his gun on Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Singh said since Kumar had reduced the party president’s post to a ceremonial one, “it’s better that the party has a new chief who can play the second fiddle”.
Commenting on the bureaucrats’ growing influence in the state, he alleged, “Officers are minting money. But if a social or political worker does so, he is put in the dock.” But he said he might stay back only if party president Sharad Yadav, who has asked for 15 days to inquire into his charges, asked him to do so.
Asked whether he had been meeting JD-U ministers and members of Parliament to convince them for a showdown with the Chief Minister, he said, “I have met no one during the last 15 days.”
JD-U legislator Suchitra Singh, however, said, “The chief minister should not bow down to pressure tactics. This man has taken undue advantage of his proximity to Kumar and interfered in governance, including in transfers and postings.”
“When the CM wants to put an end to it, he is trying to blackmail the government,” she said. Kumar, however, refused to comment on the issue, saying, “I have never spoken on party matters in public. I am not about to do so now.”