Nitish Kumar, the CM of Bihar, has appointed a new JD(U) president after the developments in Arunachal Pradesh, where six party MLAs joined BJP a few days ago. JD(U) was founded in October 2003 and is among several factions of the original Janata Dal that was founded under the tutelage of Jayprakash Narayan. Until 2016, Sharad Yadav was the president of the party but Nitish Kumar was its most popular face and when Yadav rebelled, he was thrown out of the party and Kumar was made party president.
Now, as JD(U) is facing existential crisis amid fears being gulped down by BJP, Nitish Kumar has handed over the post of the party president to Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, popularly known as RCP.
RCP is the most trusted lieutenant of Nitish Kumar and looks after the “government projects, transfers and postings,” as per a report by Business Standard. The leader of the opposition, Tejashwi Yadav, has accused that Nitish Kumar government-imposed “RCP tax” for transfer of officials and all other administrative works. The word is that in Bihar if you want to bag any big project or government-related work done, you have to pay a bribe, which is popularly known as RCP tax.
When the Sattarghat bridge was washed in during the floods in Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav alleged that the bridge was washed out because RCP tax was imposed on companies involved in construction. “The bridge constructed in eight years after spending ₹263 crores collapsed in just 29 days…the Bhismpitamah (godfather) of organized corruption Nitish Kumar Ji will not speak even a word on this, nor he will sack the corrupt companion, the road construction minister…everywhere there is loot in Bihar,” said Yadav.
According to a report by Business Standard, Nitish Kumar rules the state with help of RCP Singh, Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar, and Rajiv Ranjan (Lalan) Singh, who is representative of Munger constituency leader of JD(U) in Lok Sabha. “Once Singh came in, there was a demarcation of responsibilities. Singh handled government projects, transfers and postings, while Lalan was in charge of doing the bigger deals. They clashed once. Lalan left in pique after Nitish sided with Singh. Lalan returned after two years in the Congress but he doesn’t enjoy the same status. It’s a troika that rules the JD(U), with Nitish as the head and Singh and Lalan as his arms, in that order,” reads the report.
RCP Singh is a former IAS officer who has worked with Nitish Kumar since early 2000s when the latter was Railway minister in Vajpayee government. Both come from Nalanda district and belong to Kurmi caste, and Nitish Kumar got Singh (a UP cadre officer) transferred from Uttar Pradesh to work with him in the Railway ministry. Later, after NDA lost the election, Singh took a transfer to UP and worked as vice-chairman of Noida Development Authority.
However, after the JD(U)-BJP government came to power in Bihar in 2005, Kumar got Singh transferred to Bihar. In 2010 Singh quit IAS to work with Kumar and has been the latter’s man Friday since then.