In a development that could lead to continuous bickering within the opposition Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD) in the run-up to the Bihar Assembly polls, its senior leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has refused to resume charge as party Vice-President, a post from which he resigned around two months back.
However, the party maintains this will have no effect on its electoral prospects.
Raghuvansh Prasad is said to be very close to former Chief Minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad.
He become rebellious after his political rival Rama Yadav held a meeting with RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav in June. Both Raghuvansh Prasad and Rama Yadav have their respective strongholds in Vaishali constituency.
Rama Yadav fought on a Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) ticket against Raghuvansh in the 2014 parliamentary elections. In 2019, when the LJP gave the ticket to Veena Devi from Vaishali seat, there were speculations that Rama may join one of the bigger parties.
Though the RJD has not taken Rama Singh into its fold so far due to stiff resistance from within, Raghuvansh Prasad — a Union Minister in the UPA government in the past — had submitted his resignation as RJD Vice-President on June 23.
On the other hand, former state Minister and Lalu Prasad’s elder son Tej Pratap said: “The RJD is like a sea. If anyone takes out a jug of water, it has no affect.”
He said: “During elections, some leaders turn rebellious. It is a natural process. They also return to the party. I am sure Raghuvansh babu will also come back.”
Talking to the media here, Tej Pratap maintained that the main public issue in Bihar was the coronavirus pandemic and the flood situation. “The Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has completely failed to tackle the situation,” the RJD leader alleged.
“Nearly half of north Bihar has been devastated by uncontrollable flood. Besides, the corona pandemic has broken the backbone of the common people. Nitish ji has done nothing for them,” Tej Pratap added.
“Nitish Kumar, the BJP, and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leaders have nothing to do with the common man in Bihar. They just want elections to take place in time. They just want to stick to the Chief Minister’s chair. We have a clear stand for postponing the Assembly elections, as the first priority should be to fight coronavirus and control the flood situation,” the former Minister added.