The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) suffered a major blow on Tuesday (June 23) ahead of Legaslative Council elections in Bihar after five of its eight MLCs quit the party to join the Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United).
RJD vice-president and its founding member Raghuvansh Prasad Singh also resigned from the post today. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh is currently admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna after he tested positive for COVID-19 infection.
According to reports, Singh, a former Union minister, shot off a letter to the party leadership conveying his decision to step down as national vice-president as he was unhappy over the type of people being inducted into the RJD of late.
Singh is said to have been miffed over reports that Rama Singh, a mafia don-turned-politician formerly associated with Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP who had defeated the RJD veteran in his pocket borough of Vaishali in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, was likely to join the party founded and headed by Lalu Prasad.
The five MLCs — Sanjay Prasad, Dilip Rai, Md Kamar Alam, Radha Charan Shah, and Ranvijay Kumar Singh, switched to Nitish Kumar’s party ahead of the Legastive Council elections in Bihar, which is scheduled to be held on July 7. The Vidhan Parishad Acting Chairman Awadhesh Narain Singh said the five MLCs have been recognised as a separate group, the merger of which into the JD(U) has been approved.
“5 RJD members of legislative council joined JD(U) today. We welcome them to the family,” JD(U) member Rajiv Ranjan Singh said, confirming the development.
The RJD, which had eight MLCs, are now left with only 3 MLCs. On the other hand, JD(U) stands with a total 21 MLCs after the latest development in the 75-member council, which presently has a strength of 46. At least 29 seats in the 75-member council are lying vacant.
The BJP has 16 MLCs in the council and also has the support of an independent MLC.