‘Like a father’s desperate haste’: JD-U’s comeback on RJD leader’s 2023 prophecy
JD-U leader Upendra Kushwaha said the statement by RJD’s Jagdanand Singh statement is akin to a father desperate haste to get his son or daughter married fearing that something could go wrong
PATNA: Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav will be elevated as chief minister in 2023 when alliance partner Janata Dal United’s (JD-U) Nitish Kumar moves to Delhi for a national role ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, said Jagdanand Singh, president of Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Bihar unit on Thursday
“Chief Minister Nitish is expected to play a lead role in national politics ahead of 2024 parliamentary polls and preparations will start in 2023. So, it is natural that deputy chief minister Tejashwi will become chief minister when CM Kumar goes to Delhi for a larger role as a PM candidate,” said Singh, the second RJD leader in a fortnight to talk of transition of power in Bihar.
RJD Shivanand Tiwari had earlier spoken of RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav as the alliance’s presumptive chief minister for the elections when the current assembly’s tenure ends in November 2025.
On Thursday, Jagdanand Singh said it could be 2023.
Singh, considered one of the closest confidants of RJD boss Lalu Yadav, told a TV channel in Delhi that it was apparent from the chief minister’s announcement (he did not specify which announcement) that Kumar will play a big role in national politics in 2023 to fight for the country and hand over the reins to Tejashwi Yadav.
Asked about his reported comment, Singh reiterated his point that Nitish Kumar will pass the baton to his deputy. “Of course, yes. The chief minister is the head of the executive and has the responsibility of taking his state to new heights of development and giving a new direction. The country is waiting for Nitish Kumar and Bihar is waiting for Tejashwi. We feel CM Kumar will pass on the baton to Tejashwi,” Singh said.
JD-U parliamentary board chairman Upendra Kushwaha played down the Bihar RJD chief’s statement. “Jagdanand Singh’s statement is akin to a father making a desperate move to get his son or daughter married in a haste fearing there could be some mishap in the event,” said Kushwaha.
On Wednesday, RJD chief Lalu Yadav, after his election as president of the party that he founded, expressed his desire to see his younger son as the chief minister but was careful not to give a timeline. Yadav also underlined that his party was firmly behind Nitish Kumar to take a big role in national politics by uniting the opposition to fight the BJP in 2024 parliamentary polls. Both Lalu Yadav and Nitish Kumar met Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi on September 25 for talks on larger opposition unity including Congress.
Leaders of Bihar’s seven-party grand alliance said the way RJD top leaders are making strong statements to pitch for Tejashwi’s elevation as chief minister indicated the RJD was keen to play a more central role in the coalition. “There are backroom manoeuvrings going on and something big might happen in coming months,” said a leader.
To be sure, chief minister Nitish Kumar has also hinted at a transition of power, asserting that he was working for the younger generation to take control of state politics. A few days back, Kumar made a faux pax when he referred to Tejashwi Yadav as chief minister.
Bihar BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said what RJD state president Jagdanand Singh has prophesized for Tejashwi today is quite correct and it is evident now that chief minister Nitish Kumar will soon go into oblivion in the name of playing a larger role in national politics. “ What RJD leader Shivanand Tiwary had advised Nitish Kumar of opening an ashram is what looks turning into reality as Kumar is on his way towards political oblivion,” Anand said.
“We know Laluji is keen on making his son CM but the question is why would he bother for Nitish Kumar? It is the RJD chief who once had stopped Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav from becoming PM