A defiant Bihar JD(U) Chief Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lalan on Saturday refused to take back his resignation from the party post, saying there was no question of compromise on the issue of inner-party democracy raised by him.
“I have apprised JD(U) President Sharad Yadav of my stand on which, come what may, I will not compromise,” he told reporters after an hour-long meeting of senior party leaders chaired by Yadav to mollify him in a bid to keep the ruling party intact ahead of assembly elections by year-end.
Mr. Lalan said unless the issues raised by him were addressed, there was no question of withdrawing resignation. “What more is left to be discussed,” he asked.
The Lok Sabha member said he had raised issues relating to “lack of inner-party democracy, intolerable bureaucratic interference in governance and worthlessness of the party president’s post.”
“The ball is now in Mr. Yadav’s court and I will wait for a decision,” Mr. Lalan, who put in his papers on February 1, said.
When approached for comment, Mr. Yadav said he had heard Mr. Lalan’s views and, “the matter will be discussed at an appropriate level (Chief Minister’s level)”.
“We will get back to you as and when there is some development on the front,” he said, but declined to give a deadline saying, “It takes its own time to sort out problems.”
The meeting was also attended by State Minister H. N. Singh and ruling JD(U) MLC Sanjay Singh, considered close to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Sources close to Mr. Lalan said he was “reluctant to withdraw his resignation till he received a formal assurance from the Chief Minister on his demands for establishment of inner-party democracy.”
In his resignation letter, Mr. Lalan had remarked that the State party president’s post has been reduced to a ceremonial one and it was better to have a new State party chief in his place.
“I will not stand the humiliation anymore and the party has to run in a democratic manner as I used to bear the brunt of complaining workers, because of my being toothless,” he had stated.
“During the last four years, several political appointments were made and I was never consulted while party loyalists have always been ignored before opportunists, including Lalu Prasad’s loyalists who take away all the chances,” he had alleged.