Rama Singh had in 2014 won from Vaishali parliamentary seat on an LJP ticket. He had defeated RJD's Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal has put on hold the induction of don-turned-politician Rama Singh into the party after a last-minute intervention by jailed party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. Rama Singh was slated to join the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Monday.
Rama Singh had in 2014 won from Vaishali parliamentary seat on an LJP ticket. He had defeated RJD’s Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.
Defending the decision to put off Rama Singh’s induction, party spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said RJD being a party on the upswing is a natural choice for many people.
“When they should join is the prerogative of the party high command,” Tiwari said.
Rama Singh had recently met Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu’s youngest son and his political heir. Tejashwi had agreed to his induction but it was put off as per the instructions from Lalu who is in jail since December 2017 following conviction in multiple fodder scam cases.
According to reports, it was the resignation by senior party leader Raghuvansh Prasad that triggered the intervention by Lalu who stopped Rama Singh’s entry into the party. Raghuvansh Prasad, who recently resigned from his post in the party, is undergoing treatment at AIIMS in Patna for COVID-19.
In his letter addressed to the party leadership, the RJD leader is believed to have expressed reservations over the induction of Rama Singh. Although he didn’t name Rama Singh directly, Raghuvansh Prasad wrote that he was quitting the post of RJD national vice-president as he was upset over the type of people the party was agreeing to associate itself with.
Raghuvansh Prasad was once considered among the closest aides of Lalu.
The development rattled the RJD as his resignation came on a day when five of its MLCs defected to the rival camp of Janata Dal (United) headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Rama Singh is an accused in several crimes including murder and kidnapping. He had been an MLA from Mahanar constituency for several terms which falls under the Hajipur Lok Sabha seat – a stronghold of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan. Rama Singh made his Lok Sabha debut in 2014 but was denied a ticket by the LJP in 2019.
Tejashwi had agreed to Rama Singh’s induction into the party hoping that the clout he enjoys among the Rajputs in Mahnar and adjoining constituencies would help the party in the assembly elections in October-November.