Nitish resigns as JD(U) prez, RCP Singh takes charge

Nitish Kumar resigns as JD(U) president, RCP Singh becomes new party chief

Kumar had proposed the name of Singh for the top post, which was then approved by other members during the party's national executive meeting

Bihar Chief Minister and JDU Chief Nitish Kumar, General Secretary K C Tyagi (L) and General Secretary (Organisation), RCP Singh. Credit: PTI Photo

Two days after the BJP served a jolt to Nitish Kumar after six Janata Dal (United) MLAs in Arunachal Pradesh joined the saffron camp, the Bihar Chief Minister on Sunday resigned as JD(U) national president. “It’s not proper for me to carry on with both the responsibilities – Bihar Chief Minister as well as the JD(U) national president,” said Nitish, who was re-elected as JD(U) chief in 2019 for three years.

Speaking at the two-day national executive meeting here in the state capital, Nitish then proposed the name of his confidant RCP Singh, the Rajya Sabha member, who is also the leader of the party in the Upper House, as the new president of the JD(U). The proposal was unanimously approved.

RCP Singh is a bureaucrat-turned-politician, who has also served as the JD(U) general secretary and is considered one of the closest aides of Nitish Kumar.

Hailing from Nitish’s home town Nalanda, Singh, before becoming a Rajya Sabha MP, was an IAS officer of UP cadre and served Nitish when the latter was Railway Minister, besides serving as Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister when Nitish donned the mantle in November 2005.

Singh, like Nitish, belongs to the influential backward caste Kurmi. He, however, had a running feud with the poll strategist Prashant Kishor when Nitish appointed him as the JD(U) national vice-president. Singh’s stature within the party grew after Kishor was shown the door by Nitish in 2018.

The RJD has called Singh’s elevation as "JD(U)'s internal matter”, while the Congress was guarded in its reaction.

“RCP Singh has been a bureaucrat. Running the bureaucracy and running a party are two different ballgame altogether. I doubt whether he will be able to run the show as party national president as successfully as Nitish,” senior Congress legislator Prem Chandra Mishra told Deccan Herald here on Sunday.