Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United has attacked the BJP again as the crisis between the ruling allies of Bihar approaches, questioning how the party can decide who from the JD(U) can join Union cabinet. JD(U) state president Rajiv Ranjan Singh aka Lalan Singh, whose comments yesterday indicated a possible crisis, today said it is “clear what they (the BJP) are up to”.
Talking to reporters today, he said the BJP had said, “We agree only to your name”.
“Is it the BJP who decides who from JD(U) will become the minister? If the BJP is deciding all that, then it is understood what they are up to. What we said has turned out to be correct… they notified the Chief Minister and he said when it has been decided, then you go ahead and become the minister”.
Former Rajya Sabha MP and ex-Union minister RCP Singh, who quit Nitish Kumar’s party on Saturday, had precipitated the current crisis with his comment yesterday that it was the BJP’s chief strategist Amit Shah who had wanted him in the Union cabinet.
Mr Kumar’s party was allotted one seat in the Union cabinet after the 2019 general elections — a figure that created the initial rift between the allies. Mr Kumar, when he asked for more, citing proportional representation from Bihar, was plainly told that given the BJP’s performance, it was offering allies a token representation.
Over the last months, Nitish Kumar came to see RCP Singh as a proxy for Amit Shah, and refused him an extension of his tenure in the Rajya Sabha, leading to his resignation from the Union cabinet.
This weekend, the party accused RCP Singh of corruption.
To patch up the situation with the JD(U), Amit Shah — during a recent trip to Patna – had said Nitish Kumar will be the face of the alliance in the 2024 elections. But it was met with a solid rebuff from Lalan Singh, who said plans for the next election is yet to be decided.