As a move to check any possible poaching from the party Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who is also the national president of the Janata Dal-United on Sunday (Dec 27) announced the name of party general secretary RCP Singh as the next president of the party.
RCP’s name was proposed at the national executive of the party by Nitish which was unanimously supported by the 225-member body.
Nitish said that it was becoming difficult to run the government as well as look into the organizational matters of the party.
However, the move is being seen in political circles in the backdrop of the recently held Assembly election after which the party has grown further weak and Nitish has lost a considerable amount of bargaining position within the National Democratic Alliance.
The Dec 25 development in Arunachal Pradesh has furthered alarmed the party, especially Nitish. Though he on Friday downplayed the crossing over of six of his MLAs to the BJP the party’s national spokesman, K C Tyagi, on Sunday expressed dismay over the way Janata Dal-United legislators were wooed by the saffron party.
Some political observers are of the view that causing split in the Bihar unit of Janata Dal-United cannot be ruled out.
In the early days of post-corona lockdown in March-April news started doing the rounds that RCP had developed differences with Nitish and that he is living in his native village in Nalanda district.
There were speculations in political circles that the BJP may allure RCP. Earlier too when Prashant Kishor was named as number two in the Janata Dal-United RCP started keeping a somewhat low profile.
Now by making RCP the party president and possible successor, Nitish has tried to put a full stop to all such efforts to win him over. RCP, a former UP cadre IAS officer, had served as a Principal Secretary to Nitish before joining politics. He is the party’s leader in the Rajya Sabha. He is a Kurmi from Nalanda district, and was thus a natural choice for Nitish.