Former Union minister Ram Chandra Prasad Singh on Saturday resigned from the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) in Bihar after the party sought his response on corruption allegations levelled against him, PTI reported.
Singh had quit the Indian Administrative Service 12 years ago to join the Janata Dal (United). He was appointed as the party’s national president in December 2020.
On Saturday, the Janata Dal (United) state president Umesh Singh Kushwaha issued a showcause notice to Singh, stating that a complaint against him alleged discrepancies in land deals, India Today reported.
Kushwaha asked him to “respond point-wise” to the charges that he purchased 58 plots of land in the name of his wife and two daughters.
“A complaint has been received with evidence from two associates of Nalanda District Janata Dal (U), in which it was mentioned that discrepancies in immovable properties registered from 2013-2022 in his name [RCP Singh] and that of his family were noticed,” the notice read.
The notice added that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been working towards a “zero tolerance policy” to eradicate corruption.
Later in the day, Singh held a press conference at his ancestral village in Nalanda district, saying that he “cannot take it anymore”, PTI reported.
“I have had a good career in the IAS as well as in politics,” the 63-year-old told reporters. “Nobody has ever been able to raise a finger on my probity.”
‘Nitish Kumar will not become PM,’ says Singh
Last month, Singh had to resign from the Union Cabinet after the party denied him another term in the Rajya Sabha. Singh was the Union minister for steel.
On Saturday, Singh was asked whether he intended to join the Bharatiya Janata Party amid speculation that he had been growing close to the outfit, PTI reported. While he said he has not decided anything yet, Singh criticised Kumar’s ambitions of becoming the prime minister.
“He [Nitish Kumar] will not become [the PM] even if he were to be reborn seven times,” Singh said.
He also accused Kumar of not informing him in advance that the party was not considering to renominate him for a third term in the Rajya Sabha.
“This talk of my having served two consecutive terms does not hold because had it been a party policy, it should have been applicable to all,” he said. “Even the current national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan has served more than two terms in the Lok Sabha.”
Singh also spoke about the 2020 Bihar Assembly elections, in which the Janata Dal (United) won only 43 seats out of the total 243. However, its alliance partner BJP won 74 seats. The ruling coalition of the BJP and the Janata Dal (United) came back in power in the state.
“I was then [during the 2020 Assembly polls] the national general secretary [of the organisation],” Singh said, PTI reported. “But what about the national president? The post was then held by the chief minister himself. I took over when he stepped down.”
Singh also blamed Kumar of complacency.
“Have you seen any other chief minister who wastes three hours every evening enjoying gossip over snacks with members of his coterie?” the former Union minister asked. “He was a different man in his first term from 2005-2010 for which he is still remembered and respected. We used to tell him that he was a prime minister material and it seems that went to his head.”
Singh claimed that some party members resented his induction into the Union Cabinet.
“There is no remedy for envy,” he added. “Those who had fought the last assembly polls as chief ministerial candidates of non-starter coalitions are now occupying the centrestage in the JD(U). The party is now finished. I am giving up my primary membership.”
Describing JD(U) as a “sinking ship”, Singh even exhorted his supporters to follow his path.