Nitish Kumar's JD(U) Dismisses Rumours Over Party Chief's Resignation

The JD(U) on Tuesday sought to deny rumours of its national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lalan' resigning from the top post, and that all was not well between him and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Nitish Kumar's JD(U) Dismisses Rumours Over Party Chief's Resignation

The JD(U) on Tuesday sought to deny rumours of its national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh ‘Lalan' resigning from the top post, and that all was not well between him and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

The rumours erupted on a day Lalan was away in Delhi, even as senior party leaders blamed the confusion on a section of the media and ally-turned-adversary BJP.

JD(U) national secretary Rajiv Ranjan Prasad told reporters here that "the national president has himself issued a denial in response to the rumours of his resignation. It should serve as a full stop".

"There is no rift (between Kumar and Lalan). But, we are talking about it because the BJP, which owes much of its success to social media, plants such rumours and we end up spending time to debunk those," he claimed.

Prasad also said the party was gearing up for its two-day conclave in Delhi, beginning with the national office bearers' meet on December 28, and meetings of the national executive and national council a day later.

Meanwhile, speaking on condition of anonymity, a JD(U) leader claimed that Lalan had, in a recent private conversation with Kumar, expressed the wish to give up the top party post.

Lalan is said to be wanting to spend more time in his Lok Sabha constituency of Munger, in view of the general elections due in a few months.

Kumar is understood to have asked Lalan to continue till a decision was taken on who could be the next party chief.

During the day, detractors of the JD(U) predicted doom for the party, which joined the ‘Mahagathbandhan' last year after dumping the BJP.

Former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha, who quit the JD(U) a year ago to float a new party and has returned to the BJP-led NDA, accused Lalan of having brokered a deal by taking both Kumar and RJD president Lalu Prasad for a ride.

"Lalan had promised Nitish Kumar that Lalu will back him as the prime ministerial face of the anti-BJP coalition. On the other hand, he had assured the RJD supremo that JD(U) will merge with his party, and his son (Tejashwi Yadav) will become chief minister. Both promises fell flat,” said Kushwaha.

Kushwaha was the JD(U)'s parliamentary board chief when it pulled the plug on the alliance with the BJP, and joined the ‘Mahagathbandhan' that include the RJD, Congress and the Left.

Somewhat similar views were expressed by BJP leader and former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, who also claimed that Kumar had grown wary of Lalan's "closeness" with Lalu Prasad.

However, state minister and senior JD(U) leader Vijay Kumar Chaudhary mocked Modi when, at a programme held inside the party office, his attention was drawn towards the claim of the BJP leader.

"Sushil Kumar Modi has become a nobody in his own party, a reason why he lets his imagination run wild about the JD(U). Forget about fissures, in our party there is not even a scratch,” Choudhary asserted.