Facing graft allegations, RCP Singh quits Nitish’s JD(U)

Former union minister and Janata Dal (United) leader RCP Singh, who is facing allegations of graft, Saturday quit Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and announced to form his own political party.

The move came hours after the JD(U) sought an explanation from its former national president Singh on serious allegations of corruption leveled against him by some unidentified party workers.

“The allegations are a conspiracy by those who envied my getting inducted into the Union cabinet. I would like to tell them that those living in glass houses must not hurl stones at others. I also hereby give up my primary membership of the party,” he said.

JD(U)’s Bihar unit president Umesh Singh Kushwaha had demanded a reply from Singh. The party workers have alleged that “huge property” has been amassed between 2013 and 2022 in the name of Singh and his family members.

Singh, a former Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS officer, had won Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s trust while on central deputation in the late 1990s when his political mentor was a union minister. He had taken VRS in 2010 to join politics. Singh, who had served as the principal secretary to Kumar during his first five years as the chief minister, was viewed as a blue-eyed boy of the de facto JD (U) leader and seamlessly rose in stature within the party which considered him for two back to back terms in the Rajya Sabha.

Kumar last year chose to step down as the party’s national president and Singh seemed to be on a roll, replacing his patron and clinching a cabinet berth at the Center shortly afterwards. It, however, turned out that Singh accepted the ministerial post without the consent of Kumar, who was opposed to the BJP’s policy of “token representation” to allies.

The Bihar Chief Minister’s unhappiness became evident soon as Singh was asked to give up the party chief’s post.

The writing was on the wall for all to see when denial of another Rajya Sabha term caused him to lose his cabinet berth and many party leaders perceived to be close to him were booted out.

The BJP, to which Singh had supposedly grown too close for JD (U)’s comfort, came out with a guarded response to the rumblings affecting its ally.

“It is JD (U)’s internal matter. The allegations against respectable RCP Singh ji is a matter of investigation. But we must also listen to what he has to say in response,” BJP spokesperson Arvind Kumar Singh said in a statement.

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