Rajak’s exit is being considered as a severe blow to the JDU as he was considered as a strong Dalit leader who represents Phulwarisharif Assembly segment in the suburb of Patna.
A day after being dropped from the Nitish Kumar cabinet and kicked out from the Janata Dal United the outgoing Industry minister of Bihar Shyam Rajak on Monday joined the RJD in presence of the leader of opposition in the state Assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav.
In a joined Press conference held with Tejashwi, he lashed out at his former boss for not only violating the constitution of the Janata Dal United but also of the country.
He cited the examples of how the industries have been ruined in Bihar, though big promises were made by Nitish when he came to power way back in 2005. Hitting out at the party’s stand on the issues like NRC he questioned Nitish’s style of functioning and held the chief minister responsible for the failure on all the fronts.
He reposed full faith on the leadership of Tejashwi, who was sitting beside him. The latter lashed out at the state government for doing absolutely nothing for the victims of floods in north Bihar and Corona Virus. He had repeatedly been touring the flood ravaged districts of north Bihar.
Shyam Rajak, who hails from Dhobi (Washerman) subcaste of Dalits, was a close confidant of RJD supremo and till 2009 Lok Sabha election in which he lost as the party candidate from Jamui parliamentary constituency. A month after this defeat he jumped over to join the Janata Dal United.
Incidentally, he joined the JDU a day after taking part in Lalu Prasad’s birthday party on June 11 in which Rabri Devi herself offered cake to Rajak.
He gave up the Phulwarisharif seat as he was till then an RJD MLA. He contested the by-poll in Sep 2009 only to lose to his former party, the RJD. Lalu himself campaigned to ensure his defeat.
However, he bounced back to win this seat in the 2010 Assembly poll. He won again in the 2015 Assembly poll as the JD-U candidate.
According to people close to him he was upset over the way Nitish was treating him in the last few months. The chief minister made Siddharth, considered very close to Nitish, as the Industry Department Secretary. This was not liked by Rajak.
Reports also suggest that Janata Dal United was not going to give him ticket from Phulwarisharif this time. Rajak has been representing this seat since 1995–barring a year gap.
The JD-U, according to reports, is planning to put up Ashok Chaudhary, a minister in the Nitish cabinet to join the party, after quitting the Congress, where he had served as the BPCC chief.