JD(U) chief hits back at RCP’s sinking ship remark, says Nitish ‘identified those who tried to damage’ party

Published on Aug 07, 2022 10:13 PM IST

Lalan’s remark comes a day after former JD(U) president RCP Singh resigned from the primary membership of the party hours after corruption charges were levelled against him and called JD(U) a ‘sinking ship’.

JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh. (PTI)
JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh. (PTI)

PATNA: Janata Dal (United) national president Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh on Sunday hit back at former party leader RCP Singh saying “Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in the nick of time had recognized the conspirators trying to make holes in the ship to ensure proper repair”.

Lalan’s remark comes a day after former JD(U) president RCP Singh resigned from the primary membership of the party hours after corruption charges were levelled against him and called JD(U) a ‘sinking ship’.

“It is true that some people were trying to make holes in the ship, but now the conspiracy has been nipped and the ship will sail smoothly. It was the result of a conspiracy that pulled JD(U) down to 43 seats in the 2020 Assembly elections. The big line that Nitish Kumar has drawn will be hard to emulate. If people want to compete with him, they should strive to draw a bigger line, not rub off the line of development and progress in Bihar,” Singh said.

He also accused RCP Singh of having his souls elsewhere while remaining in the party and working at cross purposes. “The fact is that I am today the national president of JD(U) because Nitish Kumar has deputed me here. I am a caretaker. I cannot own the party. The problem is that some people wanted to use the party as if they owned it and had their souls elsewhere. Sooner or later he had to go. Now that he has resigned, he is free to go wherever he wants,” he said, without elaborating what was the conspiracy and where was RCP’s soul.

“When the time will come, we will tell everything about conspiracy. A man who has not seen the struggle of Nitish Kumar from 1994 to 2005 cannot understand its importance. It is a party that has grown with the sweat of committed workers, who had been pushed aside. Now, they are again being brought to the mainstream,” he said.

He also made it clear that the JD(U) was still firm on its stand of not participating in the Union Cabinet. “The decision of Nitish Kumar taken three years ago about honourable share is still intact,” Singh said.

At present, JD(U) has no representation in the Union Cabinet after the resignation of RCP Singh. JD(U) had from the outset demanded two cabinet berths and it was the reason why the party was upset when RCP got a post in the Union Cabinet alone. However, a BJP leader, who did not want to be quoted, said that as far as he knows, Pashupati Kumar Paras had also been accommodated in the Union Cabinet at the behest of the JD(U). “RCP Singh had been asked to negotiate with the BJP during the last Union Cabinet expansion for two posts. One post went to RCP and the other to Paras,” he said.

Nitish’s silence over recent developments has surprised many political experts. “The silence is certainly defending. He keeps Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) interested and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the tenterhooks about his possible next move. But everyone knows nothing in JD(U) can happen without his approval. Nitish is a master political craftsman and he has made himself indispensable in state politics due to his strategic maneuvering. He is giving ample indications that he is up to something and certainly not happy with how BJP has been treating him despite announcing to continue with the alliance in 2024 and 2025 at the party’s national meet in Patna,. Yet, he sends contrasting signals, and that is his art,” said social analyst Prof NK Choudhary.

DM Diwakar, former director of AN Sinha Institute of Social Studies, said that it was very difficult to predict Nitish Kumar’s mind, but his silence or absence was never without a reason. “Both are getting manifested at present. His silence tells a lot, while his party is witnessing frantic activities. Maybe, he is weighing his options against a new-age BJP in the run-up to the 2024 general elections. He knows BJP needs him and he also knows he can make a vital difference to any side he chooses to support despite his significantly truncated strength. But now he also has a challenge on the home turf and the BJP central leadership does not want to disturb the Bihar set up at this stage,” he said.

Meanwhile, LJP (Ramvilas) chief and Jamui MP Chirag Paswan, termed the happenings a result of the growing dissension within the JD(U). “JD(U) today has two factions - one who wants to go with the BJP and another wants to leave no opportunity to harm the alliance partner. RCP Singh was not corrupt when he was the president of JD(U), entrusted with the responsibility of building the organisation or representing the party in the union ministry. What is the value of allegations? The government is theirs and they should act, not make allegations,” he said.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

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