Bihar Assembly polls: RJD loses another leader as Teghra MLA Birendra Kumar joins JD(U)
Besides Kumar, eight other RJD leaders, including disgruntled Chandrika Rai, whose daughter is locked in a marital dispute with founding president Lalu Prasad's son, have switched their loyalty to the JD(U) since 17 August
The RJD, the principal opposition party in Bihar, on Tuesday suffered another setback when its MLA Birendra Kumar joined the ruling JD(U) in the state.
Welcoming the MLA to the party fold, senior JD(U) leader and MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh said that Kumars entry into the party will strengthen the JD(U).
Assembly polls are due in the state in October-November.
After joining the party, the legislator from Teghra constituency said, massive development work initiated by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar inspired him to join the JD(U).
On August 20, three MLAs, including disgruntled Chandrika Rai- whose daughter is locked in a marital dispute with founding president Lalu Prasad's son- had switched their loyalty to the JD(U). Rai represents Parsa assembly constituency.
The two other RJD MLAs who joined the JD(U) on the same day were Jai Vardhan Yadav, Paliganj MLA and grandson of former union minister Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav, and Faraz Fatmi, MLA from Keoti and the son of former union minister Mohammad Ali Ashraf Fatmi.
Earlier on 17 August, three RJD MLAs — Maheshwar Prasad Yadav (Gaighat MLA), Prema Choudhary (Patepur MLA) and Ashok Kumar Kushwaha (Sasaram MLA) had joined the JD(U).
The RJD had expelled these three legislators from the party for six years for their anti-party activities on 16 August.
The RJD-led Grand Alliance had suffered another setback when former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) severed its ties with the alliance on 20 August, after spending two-and-a-half years in the opposition coalition.
Besides RJD and Congress, the opposition grouping has RLSP of former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha and Bollywood set designer-turned-politician Mukesh Sahni's Vikasshil Insaan Party (VIP).
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BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, who is in-charge of party affairs in Bihar, will also accompany the party president
Singh, who quit as the party's national vice-president in June, was reportedly unhappy over the proposed induction of alleged mafia don and rival Rama Singh into the RJD
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RJD has already formed a mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in Bihar with Congress, Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP and Mukesh Sahni's VIP