LJP leader Rajendra Prasad Singh returns to BJP

Rajendra Prasad Singh’ return to the BJP has come amid growing differences among NDA constituents in Bihar over liquor prohibition.
Rajendra Prasad Singh rejoined the BJP in the presence of party state president Sanjay Jaiswal at his residence in Bettiah. (Image posted on Facebook by Sanjay Jaiswal)
Rajendra Prasad Singh rejoined the BJP in the presence of party state president Sanjay Jaiswal at his residence in Bettiah. (Image posted on Facebook by Sanjay Jaiswal)
Published on Jan 17, 2022 01:38 PM IST
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BETTIAH: Amid growing differences among NDA constituents in Bihar over liquor prohibition, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday reinducted Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader and former BJP state vice president Rajendra Prasad Singh.

Singh contested assembly elections from Dinara seat in Rohtas district as the LJP nominee and pushed Janata Dali-United (JD-U) leader and science and technology minister in Nitish Kumar cabinet Jai Kumar Singh to third place. He rejoined the BJP in the presence of party state president Sanjay Jaiswal at his residence here, dealing a blow to both the JD-U and the LJP.

Rajendra Singh described his reinduction in the BJP as homecoming. “Call it my folly or anger, I chose to contest the election in the larger interest of people of my constituency. I am back in my original party as per the people’s aspirations along with my supporters,” said Singh, who lost to Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Vijay Mandal by a margin of 8,228 votes in 2020 assembly election.

Singh has worked for the RSS and sister organisations for close to four decades and served the BJP as the party’s mantri of Kanshi and Awadh in Uttar Pradesh (between 2004 and 2013), maha mantri of Jharkhand organisation (2013 and 2015) and BJP state vice president (2019-20). He deserted the party following denial of ticket in 2020 assembly elections.

Welcoming him to the party fold, BJP state president Jaiswal described Rajendra Singh as the tallest leader of south Bihar. “He has served the party in various capacities in the past. Burying all the differences that arose in the past, he is joining us and we heartily welcome him,” Jaiswal told media persons.

When contacted, Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) Bihar state president Raju Tiwari and former Govindganj (East Champaran) MLA sought to downplay the matter. “Rajendra Prasad became inactive in LJP after the assembly polls. It is now clear that he had joined us for his vested interest,” said Tiwari.

Meanwhile, the differences between the BJP and the JD-U over liquor prohibition in the state widened. BJP state president Jaiswal put the JD-U in dock, accusing the Nalanda district administration of conniving with the liquor mafia.

“My question to the JD-U if members of all 11 families of those who died in hooch tragedy in Nalanda be sent to jail... For giving consolation to such families is a crime in the eyes of the party,” Jaiswal, a doctor and three-time MP from West Champaran Lok Sabha seat, said on Sunday in a Facebook post, which created a ripple in political circles because BJP is the biggest ally in the four-party NDA coalition led by JD-U’s Nitish Kumar.

Jaiswal’s poser came in reaction to JD(U) spokesman Abhishek Jha’s recent social media post in which he questioned the BJP state chief’s visit to the houses of hooch tragedy victims in the latter’s constituency.

“If the prohibition is to be implemented, first of all, the Nalanda administration should arrest the senior officer who gave a false statement, because the administration’s job is to run the district and not to give the reason of death to the people who died of a strange disease due to spurious liquor. It clearly shows that the administration itself is involved with the liquor mafia and is working to hide their misdeeds,” the state BJP chief wrote in his post.

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Monday, May 23, 2022