Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI: In this crucial election year in Bihar, bickerings in the ruling Janata Dal (United) surfaced with the party’s State unit chief Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan submitting his resignation from the post to the party’s national president Sharad Yadav. His resignation has not yet been accepted, Mr. Yadav told journalists here on Monday.

Mr. Singh has publicly found fault with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for behaving like a “dictator” and taking policy decisions without taking him and other senior party leaders into confidence.

He wanted an internal party mechanism for coordination and consultation between the party organisation and government wings.

Mr. Lallan, a Lok Sabha member, had a two-hour meeting with Mr. Yadav at his residence here, after which he told journalists that he had submitted his resignation.

This was later confirmed by Mr. Yadav, who, however, was confident of sorting out the differences within the party.

Another prominent party leader, Prabhunath Singh, who lost the 2009 Lok Sabha election, has openly blamed Mr. Kumar for his defeat. He has also criticised Mr. Yadav.

The problems in the party multiplied after its good showing in the Lok Sabha elections, which saw the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Lok Jan Shakti Party practically wiped out.

Some JD (U) leaders have been saying that this opportunity was used by Mr. Kumar to tame dissidence against him within the party.

Kuswaha factor

Shoumojit Banerjee reports from Patna:

According to party sources, the re-induction of Rashtriya Samata Party chief Upendra Kuswaha into the JD(U) last November had further deepened the rift between Mr. Kumar and Mr. Lallan as the latter claimed to have “not been consulted by Mr. Kumar during Mr. Kuswaha’s reinstatement.”

Mr. Kumar said “all was well in Bihar” and that the “party was not above the State.”