RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has refused to accept Raghuvansh Prasad Singh’s resignation from the party, saying he would speak to the disgruntled senior leader once he is out of hospital.
Singh, the RJD’s national vice-president and former Union minister, had resigned on Thursday in a brief one-line letter, written from his bed in AIIMS where he is undergoing treatment for previous Covid-related complications.
"Since the death of Jannayak Karpoori Thakur, I stood behind you for 32 years, but not now," he wrote.
Replying to Singh, Lalu wrote: “We will talk once you are well. You are not going anywhere.”
We will talk once you are well. You are not going anywhere: RJD leader Lalu Yadav in a letter to Raghuvansh Prasad SinghRaghuvansh Prasad Singh had resigned from the party, earlier today and is currently admitted at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi. pic.twitter.com/wGu68MTsCJ— ANI (@ANI) September 10, 2020
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.
"Singhs resignation will prove to be the last nail in RJDs coffin. This was the natural consequence of the suffocating atmosphere in which he had been living for quite a long time. Finally, he decided to come out of daldal (morass) which is worth welcoming,” JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said. The JD(U) had said last week it will welcome Singh into the party if he so decides.
Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha said Singh's resignation showed even important people have to face insult in the RJD. "I will request Raghuvansh babu to join Nitish Kumar and strengthen his hands for the development of the state. Nitish Kumar is the only option. Come, join us, we welcome you," said Danish Rizwan, the spokesman for HAM(S).