A day after he joined JD(U), Satya Prakash Singh, son of late RJD leader and former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, on Friday said RJD “insulted” his father’s memory by letting Rama Kishore Singh, a former Lok Sabha MP from Vaishali and Singh’s bete noire for long, join the party. Singh, elder of Raghuvansh’s two sons, said RJD did not “value” his father.
Veena Devi, Rama Kishore’s wife, is likely to contest from Mahnar Assembly segment, in Vaishali district, on an RJD ticket.
Raghuvansh, who was a founder-member of RJD and one of the tallest socialist leaders in post-Karpoori Thakur Bihar politics, had represented Vaishali for five terms in Lok Sabha and had always resisted political rival Rama Kishore’s entry into RJD. Rama Kishore had defeated Raghuvansh in the 2014 Lok Sabha from Vaishali as an LJP nominee.
Son-shine may dent RJD show
Raghuvansh Prasad Singh was known well across Bihar — beyond just the upper-caste Rajput constituency — and his son joining JD(U) is set to give the latter an upper hand. Especially given the criticism Tejashwi Yadav has received from some quarters over his style of functioning. While pan-Bihar, the move may embarrass RJD electorally, the party could be an immediate beneficiary in Mahnar — its likely candidate for the seat, Veena Devi, could tilt the scale in RJD’s favour, given husband Rama Kishore influence among Rajput voters.
Satya Prakash Singh told The Indian Express: “If I had to follow the footsteps of my father, I had to choose a political party that has a strong socialist background. Nitish Kumar comes from the same socialist school, and JD(U) is the proper forum to start my political innings.” An engineer who has worked with several reputed companies, Satya Prakash said he will not contest the upcoming polls – he has plans to do data analytics and has already taken to the field in the state. Asked why he did not join RJD, Singh said: “The RJD had insulted my father. I had also registered my strong reservation with Tejashwi Prasad Yadav after an RJD group (on social media) posted an objectionable comment on my father. He (Tejashwi) agreed that it was wrong…. My father was one of the founder-members of RJD. How could any small-time leader disown my father’s statement?”
On the controversy over the “authenticity” of the letters his father wrote, days before his death, Singh said, “All top RJD leaders recognise my father’s handwriting (the letters, criticising RJD’s style of functioning, were handwritten). A handwriting expert can make it clear within an hour or so. My father wrote those letters before fungal infection in his lungs proved fatal.”
Singh said his father had also taken up the issue of EWS quota with the RJD, seeking the party’s support on it, and had been hurt when the party objected to it.
Raghuvansh, who had earned accolades as Union Rural Development minister in UPA-1, was not included in the Union Cabinet under UPA-2 after his victory in 2009 Lok Sabha polls.