Senior Janata Dal-United (JDU) leader Ram Chandra Prasad (R.C.P.) Singh would be the new parliamentary party chief. He will replace Sharad Yadav, who was removed by the party leadership. He is also tipped to be inducted into the Union Cabinet after the JDU formally joins the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Speaking to this newspaper, JDU secretary general K.C. Tyagi said that the decision to remove Yadav was taken as he was involved in anti-party activities.
Sources said R.C.P. Singh is likely to be inducted in the Union Council of Ministers from the JDU quota in the changed political equations when the JDU becomes part of the NDA. Sources said that while one person from the JDU would be given a Cabinet berth, another may be given a Minister of State rank as and when the Cabinet expansion happens.
R.C.P. Singh was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in July 2010. Last year, he was re-elected to the Upper House. A former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from the UP cadre, he has been Principal Secretary in the Nitish Kumar government.
The move to remove Sharad Yadav came a day after the party suspended its rebel MP, Ali Anwar Ansari from the parliamentary party, for taking part in a meeting of Opposition parties, convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi this week.
Reacting to speculation that Sharad Yadav may form his own party, Tyagi said: “How can he do this? The party is recognised in Bihar only, where he does not have a single MLA or MP. For forming a party, there has to be some buniyad (foundation). He wants to split the party, which is not possible.”
Talking about Sharad Yadav’s proximity to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD, he said during Sharad Yadav’s Bihar visit this week, he was surrounded by people from RJD right from the airport, where he landed.
“He was protesting against a decision taken by the Bihar unit of the party to become a part of the NDA. He is saying he is still part of the Mahagathbandhan, whereas the fact is that we have left that path and become a part of the NDA,” he added.
In another development, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah invited the JDU to rejoin the NDA. The invitation was extended to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at a meeting of the two leaders.
The decision to remove Sharad Yadav from the party post has been communicated to Rajya Sabha chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu.Yadav, along with Ansari, has expressed differences with party chief Nitish Kumar’s decision to snap ties with the Congress and RJD and form government with BJP’s support.