Updated: July 8, 2021 10:44:10 am
The JDU, which had kept out of the Union ministry since the 2019 elections, on Wednesday finally made its entry – with the induction of party national president R C P Singh in the Cabinet.
R C P Singh’s caste status – OBC Kurmi – may have played a vital role in his induction, party leaders said, as the BJP might be sending out a signal to the Kurmi/Patel communities ahead of next year’s Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
However, his induction in the Union Cabinet may not have gone done well with another senior party leader and Munger MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, with whom he is known to be not in the best of terms.
Both R C P Singh and Lalan Singh are close to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who now has to walk a tightrope between the two.
Nitish has been trying to give an impression of being ignorant about his party’s representation in the Union ministry. On Tuesday, he said: “It is the national president of a party who is communicated about it. The national president of the party alone has the right to nominate anyone as a minister.”
This might be Nitish’s way to keep a “sulking” Lalan Singh in good humour.
Nitish and Lalan go back a long way. It was only ahead of the 2010 Assembly polls that Lalan had quit the JD(U), only to return to it later.
“Ironically, RCP Singh is said to have been responsible for Lalan quitting the party. Prashant Kishor, too, quit the party because of R C P Singh. One can only guess his importance in the JD(U),” said another JD(U) leader.
R C P Singh may keep his party national president post till the next election for the position in July 2022. He is not under pressure to adhere to “one man, one post” formula as Nitish had kept the position of Chief Minister as well as party national president till R C P Singh was made ad hoc president.
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