After Cabinet expansion in Bihar, dissidence brews in JD(U)

Just a day after 14 new faces joined the Bihar Cabinet and took up posts that former chief minister Nitish Kumar had left vacant, the House appeared divided with at least 18 legislators revolting against JD(U) party leadership.

Nitish’s closest aide, Barh MLA Gyanendra Singh Gyanu wrote a letter to party president Sharad Yadav seeking the expulsion of four senior leaders, including newly-inducted minister Lallan Singh and Rajya Sabha member RCP Singh.

RCP was principal secretary to Nitish, who quit as chief minster after his party’s crushing defeat in the general elections, before his elevation to the Upper House. Nitish had avoided expanding his Cabinet ever since he severed ties with the BJP in June last. He had taken on the responsibility of all the ministries under the BJP quota and ignored demands of expansion from within the party.

A closed-door meet held at Gyanu’s residence on Tuesday was the first clue to brewing trouble within the JD (U).

Party MLC Neeraj Kumar planted the seeds of dissidence by quitting the post of spokesperson on Monday, protesting the inclusion of “traitors” like Lallan Singh who, till sometime back, was deriding Nitish publicly.

The dissidents claimed their numbers would swell. Gyanu, the chairman of party’s disciplinary committee, recommended expulsion of MLCs Lallan Shraff and Sanjay Gandhi. But Bihar JD(U) president Vashishtha Narayan Singh on Tuesday said that Gyanu himself had committed an act of indiscipline by recommending the expulsion of four leaders “at a time when no such report was ever sought”.

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