30 Dec 2023

Was Lallan Singh's resignation pre-planned? Why was he forced to quit


Ending the week-long speculation, Rajeev Ranjan 'Lallan' Singh, the national President of Janata Dal-United (JD-U), officially resigned from his post on Friday, during the JD-U national executive meeting in New Delhi.

Contrary to earlier assurances from JD-U leaders that Singh would continue as the party president, he surprised attendees by offering his resignation during the party meeting. Sources close to Singh revealed that he had been compelled to submit his resignation to Nitish Kumar a few days prior, and the decision to announce it at the party meeting was part of a pre-arranged political strategy for his honorable exit.

A JD-U general secretary, known to be close to Nitish Kumar, confirmed that the move had been pre-planned. The decision for Singh to resign was made days in advance to pave the way for Nitish Kumar to assume full leadership of the party.

According to the general secretary, the development was not unexpected, stating, "All party leaders and workers desire Nitish Kumar, our undisputed leader, our sarvanaya neta." Lallan Singh becomes the fourth party president removed by Nitish Kumar, following George Fernandes, Sharad Yadav, and R C P Singh.

Following Singh's resignation, a proposal for Nitish Kumar to take over as the party president was unanimously passed with enthusiastic applause from members of the party national executive. Nitish Kumar, who previously served as the JD-U president from 2016 to 2020, was endorsed to lead the party once again.

After Singh's resignation, Bihar Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary confirmed the acceptance of the resignation and the endorsement of Nitish Kumar as the new party president. Another JD-U leader and Bihar Minister, Ashok Choudhary, emphasized Nitish Kumar's central role in the party, stating, "Nitish Kumar is our brand, and everything in the party belongs to him."

Sources indicate that Nitish Kumar and Lallan Singh arrived together at the Constitution Club, the meeting venue, after spending over an hour at the Bihar CM's residence in New Delhi. Lallan Singh, in his speech, cited his upcoming involvement in the Lok Sabha election as the reason for his resignation and proposed Nitish Kumar as his successor.

Nitish Kumar and Lallan Singh have been remarkably close for 30 years, but cracks in their relationship appeared after Singh appeared to draw close to Rashtriya Janata Dal President Lalu Prasad Yadav and his younger son, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav, in recent months.

Some JD-U leaders are said to have warned Nitish Kumar that Lallan Singh may split the JD-U to help the RJD form a government on its own.

Nitish Kumar, no longer confident in Singh's commitment, decided to replace him and directly lead the party. State Bharatiya Janata Party President Samrat Choudhary characterized Lallan Singh as a caretaker, highlighting that Nitish Kumar would now steer the party directly, not merely as a de facto leader.

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