Former Bihar chief minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad on Sunday condoled the death of his colleague for over 30 years and former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh who passed away at AIIMS, Delhi, due to post-Covid-19 complications.
Singh had caused a political flutter in Bihar just ahead of the elections by resigning from the RJD, apologising to Lalu Prasad for the move. In a one-page letter, Singh wrote: “Since the death of Jannayak Karpoori Thakur, I stood behind you for 32 years, but not now. I got the affection of party leaders and workers, besides common people. Please forgive me."
This prompted a rebuttal from the former Bihar CM, who refused to accept the resignation. “We will talk once you are well. You are not going anywhere,” Prasad had said.
Singh had earlier announced his resignation as the party vice president on June 23 but was persuaded by Lalu to stay back. Singh, a five-time former MP from Vaishali who held several portfolios in the Manmohan Singh government, including that of rural development, was reportedly unhappy over the proposed induction of alleged mafia don and former Lok Janshakti Party MP from Vaishali, Rama Singh, into the RJD.
Rama Singh had defeated the RJD leader in the 2014 Lok Sabha election, breaking his winning streak since he was first elected from there in 1996. He was also not happy with the style of functioning of Lalu’s heir apparent and leader of the opposition in Bihar assembly Tejashwi Yadav, party sources said.
The resignation came as a big blow to the RJD ahead of assembly elections, with the NDA constituents hailing Singh’s decision.
"Raghuvansh babu commands respect of all. Why was he forced to quit the party he nursed with his blood and sweat?" Bihar BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said.
Anand said Singh was "humiliated" by RJD supremo's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav after he announced his resignation from the post of party vice president. "What difference will it make if a pot of water is taken out of the sea?" Tej Pratap had said.