Nitish in Delhi amid ‘joining NDA’ talks

The Asian Age With Agency Inputs

India, Politics

Bihar deputy chief minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has rubbished the rumours about the resignation of Lalan Singh

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with JD(U) National President Lalan Singh arrives at the party office to attend its office-bearers meeting, in New Delhi, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Top leaders of the Janata Dal (United) are in New Delhi for the party’s national executive meeting on Friday. The two-day meeting was convened by JD(U) president Rajiv Ranjan Singh, popularly known as Lalan Singh, amid speculation that he could step down to make way for Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to take over the reins of the party again. The JD(U)’s national office-bearers' meeting was held Thursday and this will be followed by national executive and national council meetings on Friday.

However, Lalan Singh dismissed reports of his resignation, saying a “narrative” has been set by the media at the behest of the ruling BJP. Mr Singh said the meeting was a routine one, and stressed that his party remains united.

“If I have to resign, I will call you (the media), and consult you about what to write in the resignation letter, so that you can go to the BJP office and get the draft. You are trying to set the narrative… JD(U) is one, and will remain united,” Mr Singh said.

Speculation has been rife that Mr Singh may be asked to resign due to his alleged proximity to ally Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). A section of the media also claimed that after having dumped the BJP in August last year, Mr Kumar was now planning an about-turn.

Mr Nitish Kumar asserted that the party’s meeting was a “normal and annual” affair with “nothing extraordinary” about it, rejecting speculation about turmoil in his party. He, however, ducked questions when asked whether Lalan Singh was likely to make a formal offer of his resignation at the meeting on December 29. He also evaded questions about the rumours of his joining the NDA.

Bihar deputy chief minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has rubbished the rumours about the resignation of Lalan Singh. “These is all useless talk… Every party holds its national executive meeting. We also held our party’s national executive meeting in Delhi,” Mr Yadav said.

At the national executive meeting venue, posters featuring Bihar CM Nitish Kumar reading “Pradesh ne pehchana, ab desh bhi pehchanega” (The state of Bihar recognised him, now the nation will) were put up. However, as the Lok Sabha elections draw closer, the BJP claims that a transfer of power in Bihar is in the offing, a claim strongly denied by the ruling coalition.

Union minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh said: “Nitish Kumar ji will remain the chief minister of Bihar for just a few days. Lalu Prasad Yadav has created a ‘chakravyuh’ for this. The first step of this ‘chakravyuh’ was making Awadh Bihar the Speaker of the Bihar Assembly. Nitish Kumar will become former (CM) very soon… It is fixed that Nitish Kumar will not remain the CM anymore. In the next few days, Bihar is going to get a CM from the RJD…”