Call it the sheer coincidence or JD-U boss Nitish Kumar’s way of handling party colleagues, almost all the top officials of his party had an ungracious exit from the post after serving the organization.
Be it founder president George Fernandes or his successor Sharad Yadav, all had to face inglorious ouster when they deserved honour and respect.
Now, another name has added to the list of such persons—he is Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, Union steel minister and former JD-U president who once held Number two position in the JD-U. Singh, a bureaucrat-politician more popular as RCP among his friends, was hopeful of getting re-nominated to the Rajya Sabha so as to continue as the minister in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi cabinet but has been denied the chance by the party; instead a lesser known party leader Khiru Mahto has been given the opportunity.
That means RCP will have to resign from the Union cabinet. He can continue only when the BJP sends him to the Rajya Sabha but its chances are remote given the risk involved in it.
Political analysts say the BJP may not like to annoy the chief minister as that could not only risk the ruling NDA government in Bihar but also fail to get the support of the JD-U for the upcoming Presidential elections.
The BJP also urgently needs the support of the JD-U to win its second Rajya Sabha seat of the total five vacancies in the state. How the BJP needs the backing of Kumar at this crucial juncture can be underlined from the fact that the BJP has decided to attend the meeting over caste census convened by the state government on 1 June, after initially opposing it in public.
Although it is being said he fell from grace for taking an independent line in the JD-U yet three things went strongly against him—Number One, he was asked by the party to bargain for four ministerial berths—two Cabinet and two state ranks—with the BJP post 2019 LS polls but he himself took oath as a minister without consulting the party.
Again, he widely publicized the fact that he became the minister with the consent of the chief minister, Secondly, He was asked by the party leadership to negotiate with the BJP over the seat-sharing deals for the recently-held UP assembly polls but didn’t show any interest as a result of which the JD-U had to go it alone and lastly, he had mocked the party’s demand for conducting caste census and even refused to be a part of the delegation of JD-U MPs which called on Union home minister over the issue.
Former JD-U chief Sharad Yadav too had his wings clipped after he tried to assert his position and began taking an independent line in the party. Yadav who became the JD-U president in April 2006 after getting 413 votes against only 25 votes polled by Fernandes fell from grace soon after he opposed Kumar’s move to break alliance with the RJD in July 2017 shortly after the CBI conducted raids on Lalu’s residence in the alleged IRCTC scandal.
Eventually, he had to lose his House membership. His disqualification from the Rajya Sabha followed after the JD-U complained against his anti-party activities and also submitted proof of such activities to Vice–president Venkaiah Naidu. Later, he formed his own party, Loktantrik Janata Dal, in 2018 but as of now he has merged his party with the RJD headed by Lalu Prasad.
Fernandes faced similar treatment from Kumar in later years after differences cropped between them over certain political issues.
The situation reached such a level that Kumar not only denied him the chance to contest from his home seat of Nalanda but also denied him ticket from Muzaffarpur, the seat which elected him to Lok Sabha in 1977 while he remained in jail. He won from this seat in 1980, 1989, 1991 and 2004. He last contested the Muzaffarpur seat in 2009 LS polls too as a rebel but lost the elections.