Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to hand over the reins of Janata Dal-United to his most trusted aide Ram Chandra Prasad Singh to focus on Bihar only and not the party’s overall organisation is his new political gamble, experts said.
By appointing Singh as JD-U national President, Nitish has sent out a clear message to other regional parties that his party does not promote dynastic or family rule politics.
JD-U Spokesman Abhishek Jha asserted that with RCP Singh spearheading the party, it would hopefully move forward. “Nitish Kumar understands the party’s strengths during this transition phase, which is why he has entrusted the party’s responsibility to an experienced political leader,” he added.
BJP spokesperson and former party MLA Manoj Sharma said that Singh’s appointment was an internal matter of the JD-U, adding that even the saffron party had always been against promoting family and dynastic rule from the very start.
RCP Singh has been considered a close confidant of Nitish Kumar from the start. For the last few days, questions were raised about who the ‘number two’ in the party after Nitish Kumar was. With Singh’s appointment, Nitish has given an answer — Singh is in the forefront of his most trusted leaders.
Political analyst Kanhaiya Bhelari said that it is usually seen that a party assigns the top post to a leader who is seen as a skilled party organiser. Singh has not only been a trustworthy colleague of Nitish Kumar, but has also played a key role in strengthening the JD-U’s overall organisational structure, he added.
It is also said that Nitish — a master of ‘social engineering’ in politics — has played the caste card well by handing over his party’s command to a person from his own Kurmi community.
Bhelari said that all leaders nowadays play caste, ethnic and regional cards and Nitish is no exception.
RCP Singh, a former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, is also said to be an expert in stitching alliances with other political parties. It is said that Nitish Kumar interacted earlier for maintaining alliance with BJP leaders, but now will pass on the responsibility to Singh and himself take charge of Bihar.