Trouble is brewing in the Nitish Kumar camp after the recent cabinet reshuffle. The principal opposition party in Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and its spokesperson Shakti Singh Yadav has insinuated that newly crowned Cabinet Minister RCP Singh could soon oust Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and his key aides from the party.
Stating the incident where JDU leader Pramod Chandravansi was ejected rather unceremoniously, Shakti Yadav stated, “Pramod Chandravansi incident will soon be replicated with Nitish Kumar and his trusted leaders of JD-U.”
It is pertinent to note that Pramod Chandravansi, the JD(U) leader who is associated with Nitish Kumar since the foundation of the Samata Party, alleged that RCP Singh had misbehaved with him recently, “I was associated with Nitish Kumar for 27 years and R.C.P. Singh was the personal secretary of Nitish Kumar at that time. When he became Union Minister, I personally came here to congratulate him. However, he thought otherwise and threw out me from the lift of his official residence,”
RCP Singh had been close to Nitish Kumar for decades and grew under him. Nitish had first discovered RCP when as railway minister he chose him to become his personal secretary (PS). RCP remained his PS till 2010 and joined JDU formally in 2010 and then instantly sent to Rajya Sabha. In 2016, he was made the JD(U) general secretary to look after the party’s organisational matters. In December last year, he was made the party’s national president.
However, RCP Singh has had different views on matters of national importance. Unlike JDU and its other leaders, RCP Singh openly batted for the introduction of CAA and NRC across the country. Reported by TFI, RCP Singh stoutly defended CAA in Parliament, which was vehemently opposed by the then JD(U) national vice president Prashant Kishor who was ultimately expelled from the party.
Thus, his elevation to the cabinet as the Steel Minister is being seen as a move by BJP to cut Nitish to size. Since the announcement of the cabinet last Wednesday, Nitish Kumar has not congratulated RCP Singh publicly on social media or any other platform, suggesting that all is not well within the JDU camp.
Moreover, as reported by TFI, to send another message to JDU, the Prime Minister consciously kept Sushil Modi out of the cabinet. The former deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, who had been sent to a retirement home in Rajya Sabha had been harbouring dreams of a cabinet call up after spending some time in the wilderness. However, owing to his symbiotic relationship with Nitish Kumar, the PMO kept him at bay.
The PM is still making sure that Sushil Modi continues to seek penance for his ‘hobnobbing activities with JDU’ and twisted political games that he played in Bihar in the run-up to the assembly elections, that nearly cost BJP power in the state.
There have been winds of rebellion blowing in Bihar where a few weeks ago, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) scion Chirag Paswan lost the hold over his party when five of the six LJP MPs broke away and unanimously elected Chirag’s uncle Pashupati Nath Paras as the leader of the LJP in the Lok Sabha.
However, this is where things get interesting. As reported by TFI, the plan to break LJP was hatched by none other than Nitish Kumar. The senior leader of Bihar politics wanted to avenge the humiliation meted his way by Chirag during the election trail.
However, the BJP, pulling the strings of Bihar politics currently, gave a cabinet berth to Pashupati Nath Paras to keep the JDU leader in check. With RCP Singh in the saffron party’s corner as well, and opposition parties hinting at a potential coup, Nitish is slowly pushing himself towards the edge of oblivion.