No threat to NDA govt in Bihar, all matters being sorted out: RCP Singh
RCP Singh, the newly appointed national president of ruling Janata Dal (United), or JD (U), has dismissed speculation about the future of chief minister Nitish Kumar-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Bihar as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has begun asserting itself as the biggest party of the grouping. In an interview, Singh insisted the government does not face any threats and issues among NDA alliance partners will be amicably resolved. Edited excerpts:
How challenging is your new role given your party now has lesser lawmakers than the BJP?
The confidence level is not low. The numbers do not always matter. The [Bihar assembly election] results have been below par due to a number of factors. We are analysing everything. JD (U) remains a party with strong footprints in Bihar as well as a few other states like Arunachal Pradesh and Jharkhand. It has a charismatic leader [Kumar], who works for inclusive development. We are working on strengthening the party further.
The BJP poached your lawmakers in Arunachal and due to a wafer-thin majority in Bihar, there could be a threat to your government too... the Rashtriya Janata Dal still hopes to form the government...
In Arunachal, the BJP had a majority on its own. But six of our lawmakers switched over apparently lured by power and prospects of getting posts. JD (U) had no alliance with the BJP there. Such a thing also happened in Nagaland. But these things will not make any difference to Bihar. Here NDA is old and both the BJP and the JD (U) have been together for years.
Do you see any threat to the NDA government in Bihar?
The NDA has the numbers. It also has the support of Independents and the Lok Janshakti Party. There is no threat to the government, which has started working on its promises. The opposition is daydreaming. The first priority for the government is free Covid-19 vaccination. Our state executive meeting is also scheduled for January 9-10, where we will reassess the organisational situation. A tall leader like Nitish Kumar, who walks the talk, makes a huge difference. Our leader has a reputation not only in the state but at the national level. That is a big advantage for the party to build on. People trust him not because he talks, but because he delivers. I have been with Kumar for 23 years and I know he is one who cannot compromise with his ideology and principles. Ideology is what makes a party. We have remained with our ideology all through.
Why is there a delay in cabinet expansion...?
The expansion will happen and there is no confusion. It is natural that the BJP being the larger party will have a larger share. The ministries have been allotted to all four constituents. ...it will happen at the right time. It is for all the alliance partners to decide who they want in the cabinet. ...Union cabinet [expansion] is the Prime Minister’s prerogative. All parties want to have a bigger share. In a coalition, all sides need to respect each other’s sentiments.
Why are 12 nominations to the legislative council stuck?
The seats have been vacant since May 2020. [The issue] will also be resolved amicably. The opposition is unnecessarily trying to find fissures. Talks will happen in this regard soon. In the NDA, the relationship is built on trust. Who gets how many will be decided once talks get underway?
Will JD (U) also contest elections in West Bengal and Assam?
We do want to spread our footprints, but a decision in this regard will be taken on the basis of the reassessment by the party’s state units. We do not want to fight just for the sake of it. We will like to fight to win. Wherever the organisational base is strong, the party will take feedback and accordingly decide.
A man was seen thrashing a cop inside a police station premises in Uttar Pradesh's Mainpuri. According to news agency ANI, the man had been called by the police over a domestic violence complaint when he lost his temper and began delivering blows to the cop. An official told ANI that the family cited his ill mental health as the reason behind his violent behaviour. The man has been booked and detained, the official added.
Mumbai witnessed heavy rainfall as commuters faced a hard time wading to waterlogged roads across the city on Tuesday. The Andheri subway, which connects east and west parts of the suburb, was closed for vehicular traffic and pedestrians due to waterlogging at about 7am. Commuters said that there was chaos and disorder on Mumbai roads throughout Tuesday morning due to incessant showers and heavy downpour.
Day after cabinet expansion, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann allocated portfolios to his new ministers and rejigged the portfolios of other ministers in his government. Aman Arora, Inderbir Singh Nijjar, Chetan Singh Jouramajra, Aman Arora, Fauja Singh Sarari and Anmol Gagan Mann were sworn-in as ministers by governor Banwari Lal Purohit on Monday. Here is the complete list of ministers and their portfolios in the Bhagwant Mann government.
A tweet sharing unique 'no parking' signs in Bengaluru's posh Koramangala neighbourhood is now going viral on social media and has sparked a fresh debate over the age-old issue. These signs don't just say 'no parking' but proclaim 'don't even think of parking here', while another warns 'no parking… not for 10 minutes, not for 5 minutes, not at all!' The neighbourhood is a mix of commercial structures and bungalows.
A 1992-batch IPS officer, Gaurav Yadav, on Tuesday took charge as the officiating director general of police of Punjab after current state police head VK Bhawra proceeded on a two-month leave. Yadav was posted as special principal secretary to Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann. Counter-intelligence expert at the helm Yadav, who is the son-in-law of former Punjab DGP PC Dogra, is a counter-intelligence expert. Before applying for leave, DGP Bhawra had sought a central deputation.