In a significant political development, five RJD legislators resigned from the party today to join the ruling JD-U headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar in Bihar ahead of the upcoming assembly polls. The development came on a day when another top RJD official and former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh resigned as party’s national vice-president.

Reports said the five RJD’s Members of Legislative Council (MLCs), Upper House of the Bihar legislature, walked to the chamber of acting Council chairman today and submitted their resignations. They also urged the chairman that they be recognized as a separate group and allowed to merge with the JD-U. This was shortly followed by JD-U’s chief whip in the Legislative Council Reena Yadav rushing to the office with the party’s letter of consent after which the chairman gave his prompt approval.

With this defection, the number of RJD members in the Upper House has come down to only three. On the other hand, JD-U’s strength has moved up to 21 in the Upper House. The BJP has only 16 members.

In another setback to the party, RJD’s national vice-president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has resigned from the party post. Singh who is currently admitted to the AIIMS, Patna after being tested positive for Covid-19 is said to be annoyed over reports that former Vaishali MP Rama Singh, a mafia don-turned politician formerly associated with Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP, is likely to join the RJD. Rama Singh had defeated RJD leader in the 2014 LS polls earlier. Singh, however, said he was not quitting the RJD.

These all developments come amid reports that Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) president Jitan Ram Manjhi has planned to return to the JD-U and merged his political outfit with the party of Bihar chief minister. Although the party spokesperson denied such reports as media speculations, HAM insiders said Manjhi has been in constant touch with the chief minister and even met him a few times in the past over the issue. It is said Manjhi is looking for an opportune moment to join the JD-U.