Jagada Nand Singh, the President of Rashtriya Janata Dal Bihar unit, is known for his opposition to nepotistic politics. There is a popular story that Lalu Yadav wanted to give his son a ticket from the Ramgarh constituency but Mr Singh vehemently opposed the same and forced Lalu to not give the ticket. Some people say that he went so far as to say that he will contest against his own son if RJD gives a ticket to the latter.
However, on the behest of Lalu Yadav, he accepted Tejashwi and Tej Pratap as leaders of the party. In November 2019, at the behest of Lalu Yadav, he was appointed as the President of RJD.
However, since then, there has been a continuous tussle between Jagada Nand Singh and the younger son of Lalu Yadav, Tej Pratap Singh. Before the 25th anniversary celebration of the party, the differences between the two grew. But Lalu Yadav became the saviour and ironed out the differences.
During the speech on the 25th anniversary, Lalu Yadav recounted the story of how Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Jagada Nand Singh played a critical role in establishing him as the successor of Karpuri Thakur. These two leaders also played a formative role in the rise of Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar.
Lalu Yadav rewarded them handsomely. But, before the 2020 assembly election, as party vice president and former Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, also resigned.
Singh was not happy with RJD welcoming Rama Kishore Singh, who had defeated him from Vaishali, a seat he held since 1996, in 2014 as an NDA candidate.
“It’s like hell in the party — tickets are being sold for money. I personally blocked Rama Singh’s entry into the party twice. But after this, I cannot hold this post,” Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said. The resignation of Raghuvansh Prasad Singh meant a loss of the party’s upper caste face.
While Raghvansh Prasad Singh refused to compromise with his ideals and quit the party, Jagada Nand Singh, who vehemently opposed a ticket to his son, happily accepted the leadership of Lalu’s son in RJD and accepted the role of President of the state unit.
Previously, during the speech on the 25th anniversary, Lalu hailed party workers and commended both his sons for their oratory skills. “I want to assure the people that we’re not going to step back and will not be cowed down by the pressure and conspiracies of our political rivals. Tejashwi should not be discouraged, as the future of RJD is very bright and we’ll take the country ahead,” he said.
Lalu also mentioned older party leaders like Jagada Nand Singh, Shivanand Tiwari, Shyam Rajak and Abdul Bari Siddiqui among others to remind the younger leaders that it was not he but also the younger leaders who have worked hard to build the party.
However, it is very evident that Lalu’s sons are leading the party and they have even sidelined their father to Margdarshak Mandal (advisory board). Lalu Yadav has become a pariah in his own party for the last few years.
But Jagada Nand Singh, who has been praised by Prime Minister Modi for his stance against nepotism (PM asked him to come to BJP because it is the only truly non-nepotistic party in the country apart from Communists), seems to have accepted the leadership of Lalu’s son and made peace with the fact.