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Leaders mourn death of socialist leader and former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh

Former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh with RJD Chief Lalu Prasad. File Photo.   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

Leaders across the political spectrum on Sunday mourned the death of veteran socialist leader and former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, who three days ago had quit the Rashtriya Janata Dal from his hospital bed at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi.

Inaugurating petroleum projects in Bihar on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his death has created “a void in the political sphere of Bihar and the country as well”. Mr. Modi also requested Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to fulfil the demands which Mr. Singh had mentioned in his last letter written a few days ago to Mr. Kumar. “After all he spoke about the development in his letter,” PM Modi said.

An outstanding leader: President

President Ram Nath Kovind too extended his condolences to Mr. Singh’s family and followers. “The passing away of Raghuvansh Prasad Singh is tragic…an outstanding leader rooted to the ground, he was truly a stalwart with a phenomenal understanding of rural India…condolences to his family and followers,” he said.

Mr. Kumar and other State leaders said Mr. Singh was a veteran socialist leader of the State. “His death is a great social and political loss,” said Hindustanti Awam Morcha (Secular) leader and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.

“Dear Raghuvansh Babu what did you do?..day before yesterday I had told you that you’re not going anywhere but you went so far…I’m speechless, sad. You’ll be remembered most,” RJD president Lalu Prasad tweeted in his message. Similarly, senior State BJP leader and Dy. CM Sushil Kumar Modi said the veteran leader had a vast knowledge of parliamentary proceedings and rural India. “The death is a huge loss for public life…he did politics of principles and never compromised with his principles because of politics…he knew a lot about rural India and had vast knowledge of parliamentary proceedings,” said Mr. Sushil Modi adding, “MGNREGA is his contribution.”

Expert in rural and agricultural landscape

Mr. Singh was Ph.D. in mathematics and an expert in rural and agricultural landscape. On September 10, he had shot off a hand written letter to party president Lalu Prasad to say he was leaving the party. “After the death of Jannayak [people’s leader] Karpoori Thakur, I stood behind you for 32 years but not any more…I’ve received lots of affection from the party, supporters and people. Please forgive me,” wrote Mr. Singh in the one-page hand written letter to Mr. Prasad who, himself is admitted to the RIMS (Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences) in Ranchi.

Mr. Prasad quickly responded saying, “Get well soon and we’ll sit together to discuss…but you’re not going anywhere.” On June 23, Mr. Singh had resigned from the post of party vice-president and despite repeated requests from Tejashwi Yadav, RJD leader and heir apparent of party chief Lalu Prasad, did not relent.

Mr. Singh was said to be upset with the party amid talks of likely induction of another Rajput leader from his Lok Sabha constituency, Ramakishore Singh, into the party. In the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, Mr. Singh, who has a criminal background, had defeated Mr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh from the Vaishali constituency on the Lok Janshakti Party ticket. Mr. Ramakishore Singh is said to have some influence in the Raghopur Assembly constituency of Vaishali district, represented by Mr. Tejashwi Yadav.

Earlier, Mr. Tejashwi Yadav even had gone to Delhi to assuage Mr. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh. Party sources said Mr. Singh had categorically told him that “it would be difficult for him to remain in the party along with Rama Singh”. The buzz in the political circles was that he would be joining the ruling JD(U). Mr. Singh had written the letter with some demands to JD(U) president Nitish Kumar on September 10 and the State JD(U) leaders too had lost no time in offering an invitation to the veteran socialist leader to join the party.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 11:21:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-modi-condoles-death-of-raghuvansh-prasad-singh-asks-nitish-to-fulfil-his-demands/article32592360.ece

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