Nitish Kumar New JDU Chief After Lalan Singh Quits Amid Exit Speculation

Speaking to reporters immediately after the meeting, Lalan Singh shot down talk of a rift in the JDU, or with Nitish Kumar, and said

Patna , 29 DEC ,2023 -Nitish Kumar was unanimously re-elected as President of Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) at a meeting of the party’s national executive in Delhi on Friday afternoon. The Bihar Chief Minister was re-appointed minutes after aide Lalan Singh stepped down, calling on Nitish Kumar to return as he did, ending weeks of speculation, but triggering barbs from the BJP over the manner of his “farewell”.Speaking to reporters immediately after the meeting, Mr Singh shot down talk of a rift in the party, and said, “Anger? What anger? Why should I be angry? This is the first time I am hearing this word.”However, the BJP’s Vijay Kumar Sinha, the Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, said “a self-respecting person” would never accept this type of “farewell”. “When the party and the leadership do not have confidence… there is no point in holding the post.

He should have resigned earlier…”Sources said Lalan Singh was removed because he was seen as being a little too close to the JDU’s alliance partner in Bihar – Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal – amid talk that RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who is Lalu Yadav’s son and the Deputy Chief Minister, is being prepped to take over. Union Minister Giriraj Singh claimed Lalu Yadav had told him “… the JDU will merge with RJD soon”.That buzz was dismissed by Tejashwi Yadav himself, who accused the opposition BJP of “planting stories” to destabilise the JDU-RJD alliance in the state. Mr Yadav’s reaction came after the BJP’s Sushil Modi – who was the Deputy Chief Minister till Nitish Kumar quit that alliance – claimed the JDU was spreading rumours about re-allying with the BJP to keep the RJD and Congress in check.Officially, though, Lalan Singh told Nitish Kumar he wanted more time to focus on his constituency ahead of next year’s election. Mr Singh is a two-time Lok Sabha MP from Bihar’s Munger.The change in the JDU’s top leadership comes months before the 2024 Lok Sabha election and speculation over Nitish Kumar’s prime ministerial ambitions in that race. The JDU boss was apparently passed over as a potential PM candidate for the INDIA opposition bloc earlier this month.Nitish Kumar and the JDU rubbished rumours of rifts within INDIA after that incident, when it was suggested the Congress chief, Mallikarjun Kharge, be the bloc’s prime ministerial candidate.

Nitish Kumar was unhappy with Lalan Singh as he failed to project his name. Publicly, the Bihar Chief Minister had insisted he had no such ambitions, and only wanted to unite parties opposed to the BJP. “I felt no disappointment….no resentment,” Nitish Kumar had said.That incident highlighted what many see as serious rifts within the INDIA bloc, which is meant to unite the opposition ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Lalan Singh had then said, “All is well in INDIA…”

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