The Bihar Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president and senior party leader Jagdanand Singh is said to be upset with party leadership ever since his younger son Sudhakar Singh resigned from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led cabinet as Agriculture Minister after flagging “rampant corruption” in his department.
Mr Singh’s corruption remarks said to have embarrassed Mr Kumar and mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) government with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav as his deputy in the Cabinet which has often been claiming to run with “good governance”.
Allegedly, under pressure Sudhakar Singh, 46, had to resign on October 2. “I don’t want this (friction) to drag on further”, said Jagdanand Singh who announced that his son had put in his papers.
However, the Bihar RJD president also raised issues of farmers welfare which his son had been raising as an agriculture minister of the State.
“Farmers and soldiers issues cannot be ignored”, he quipped.
Close confidant of Lalu Prasad
Jagdanand Singh has been close to RJD chief Lalu Prasad ever since party was formed in 1997 and is considered one of the close confidant of Mr Prasad.
He is also known as an adversary of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with whom he once had shared good relations.
Now after his younger son’s ouster from the Cabinet Jagdanand Singh is said to be upset with party leadership and party sources said he may offer to resign from his post of State party president once he meets Lalu Prasad in Delhi.
But he denies it.
“I’m neither upset nor angry with anyone. I’ll go to Delhi and meet party chief Lalu Prasad”, he said.
For last two days, Mr Singh was missing either train or flight to go to Delhi where RJD is scheduled for it’s national executive and national council meetings on September 9 and 10.
“I’ll attend party meetings”, he said. Mr Singh is likely to head for Delhi on Saturday.
Snubbed by Tejashwi Yadav
Recently, Mr Singh was also snubbed by party leader Tejashwi Yadav when he had said that Mr Yadav will be Chief Minister in 2023 when Mr Kumar is involved in national politics.
Next day, Mr Yadav issued a circular that no leader of the party would speak on the issue.
“These two issues may have upset senior RJD leader Jagdanand Singh with party leadership but he will not put in his paper as it will eventually go in favour of his political rival Nitish Kumar”, said a senior RJD leader of the State.
“Our party leader Lalu Prasad will certainly be able to placate his hurt feelings”, he added.
But another RJD leader said Mr Singh should not have been “humiliated” like this as he has been a “loyal party leader seen to be standing with Lalu ji through thick and thin for years and years”.
He is also known for his political principle and simplicity, he added.
“What was wrong in the issues his son Sudhakar Singh was raising?”, asked the RJD leader preferring anonymity.
The buzz in political circle of the state is that Sudhakar Singh flagging issues of corruption in his department had upset Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and a pressure was put on his Deputy Tejashwi Yadav to remove him from the Cabinet.
Later, said party sources, RJD chief Lalu Prasad conveyed the message to Jagdanand Singh and then came resignation of Sudhakar Singh.
“RJD chief now do not want any hurdle in his son Tejashwi Yadav to become Chief Minister of the state. He seems to be ready to sacrifice anything for this to happen while, appeasing Chief Minister Nitish Kumar”, a senior state BJP leader said.
“But, Mr Prasad here forgets that Nitish Kumar has been a serial betrayer and he cannot be trusted upon”, he added.
Meanwhile, The Hindu received two videos from Sudhakar Singh in which Tejashwi Yadav was opposing the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act and demanding the “mandi system” which was scrapped by chief minister Nitish Kumar in 2006, “to be restored”.
On October 1, Mr Singh too had raised these issues after which he had to resign.
“Come what may…I’ll keep raising issues related with farmers and people of my constituency”, asserted Mr Singh.
However, the suspense continues whether his father Jagdanand Singh will visit Delhi on Saturday or, miss his journey again to trigger speculations over his next move.