India

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh writes to Nitish Kumar after quitting RJD, recommends amendments to NREGA in Bihar

The Janata Dal (United) led by Nitish welcomed Singh's decision to quit the RJD and said it will welcome him if he wants to join the party (edited)

Press Trust of India September 11, 2020 20:21:35 IST

Patna: After resigning from the RJD, former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has written a letter to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar with a slew of suggestions, including an amendment in MGNREGA and some issues concerning his native Vaishali district, sending an olive branch to JD(U) which has welcomed his decision to leave Lalu Prasad Yadav's party.

Singh addressed his letter to Kumar from the hospital bed at AIIMS, New Delhi on Thursday, the day he resigned from the RJD.

He has posted the letter to the chief minister on his Facebook account.

The ruling Janata Dal (United) has made it clear that it will welcome Singh into the party if he decides to join it.

The former union minister is admitted to Delhi AIIMS because of post-COVID-19 complications.

In his letter to Kumar, who heads the JD(U), the veteran leader has made a series of suggestions including an amendment in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA), bringing Lord Buddhas begging bowl from Kabul and hoisting tricolor at Vaishali, the land of worlds first Republic.

Singh has represented Vaishali Lok Sabha seat for five times before his successive defeats in 2014 and 2019 polls. Departure of the veteran socialist leader, a well known face of the RJD along with Yadav, will have tremendous psychological impact for the main Opposition party ahead of the state elections.

It could also dent the party's support among the upper caste Rajput.

Singh, who as union minister of rural development in the UPA-1 had piloted the NREGA scheme, urged the chief minister to bring an amendment through an ordinance into the Act in order to provide more benefits to the farmers.

He said that the ordinance could be brought at the earliest in order to avoid the model code of conduct which will come into force once the schedule is announced for the Bihar Assembly polls.

Singh also said in the letter that Lord Buddha's begging bowl should also be brought from Kabul (Afghanistan), and that Nitish should hoist tricolor at Vaishali on 26 January.

The former Union minister also urged Nitish to construct small bridges over Gandak canal in Muzaffarpur and Vaishali districts, the letter said.

On Singh's letter to Kumar, JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said that "the letter which he has written to CM Nitish Kumar on various matters are undoubtedly issues which require consideration."

"One thing is clear that Raghuvansh Babu was humiliated and insulted that he swallowed during his long stint in the RJD which he nursed with his blood and sweat", Prasad said, adding that "Singhs decision has made a big hole in the sinking RJD boat."

Notably, Singh had on Thursday resigned from the party after serving it since its inception in July 1997, thus giving a major blow to the party which has already witnessed desertion of seven MLAs and five MLCs at a time when Assembly elections could be announced in next few days.

Hours later, the RJD supremo wrote an emotional letter to Singh from Ranchi jail premises rejecting his resignation while insisting that he was not going anywhere.

"I dont believe....a letter purportedly written by you is on social media. I, my family, and the RJD family that have nursed the party want you to get well soon and be amongst us," Yadav wrote back.

Singh had recently quit from the post of RJD vice president in protest against efforts to induct mafia don and former Lok Janshakti Party MP from Vaishali Rama Singh into the party.

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 Yadav's heir apparent and Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav, party sources said.

Updated Date: September 11, 2020 20:21:35 IST

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