In a crucial political development ahead of the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections, leader from the Scheduled Caste community, Shyam Rajak was on Sunday dismissed as minister in the Nitish Kumar government and expelled from the JD(U).
Rajak, who left the RJD to join the JD (U) in 2010, would rejoin the RJD on Monday in the presence of Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.
While the RJD is upbeat with the return of Rajak, who was known to be close to RJD chief and former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad, the JD (U) looks set to induct three RJD MLAs who were expelled from the party on Sunday.
Faraz Fatmi, MLA from Keoti in Darbhanga and son of former RJD MP M A A Fatmi; Maheshwar Yadav, MLA from Gayghat in Muzaffarpur, and Prema Choudhary, MLA from Patepur in Vaishali were reportedly in touch with JD (U) leaders for a while.
Rajak’s decision to quit the JD (U) does not come as a surprise — it is learnt that he had been feeling sidelined in the government and the party.
An SC community leader representing Phulwari Sharief in the Assembly, he had been made a minister in the last cabinet expansion.
JD (U) minister and spokesperson Neeraj Kumar told The Indian Express, “Rajak has been dismissed from JD (U) for his anti-party activities and indiscipline. The CM also dismissed Rajak from his cabinet.”
Welcoming Rajak, RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tewari said, “Shayam Rajak had been with us for a long time and played a crucial role. This is like homecoming for him. His return will surely boost the party. A leader like Rajak leaving JD (U) shows how he got disenchanted with Nitish Kumar.”
At one point, Rajak was considered number two to Lalu Prasad in the RJD along with Ram Kripal Yadav — now a BJP MP.
Asked about the three RJD MLAs set to join JD (U), Tewari said Fatmi, Yadav and Choudhary had lost the confidence of the RJD leadership because of their “anti-party activities” and it did not matter which party they joined.
With Fatmi set to join JD(U), the party may gain in the Darbhanga region because of the influence of Fatmi’s father.
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