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Bihar’s ruling JD-U gets new chief

Patna, Feb 14 (Calcutta Tube) Janata Dal-United (JD-U) president Sharad Yadav Sunday said he had accepted the resignation of Bihar state unit chief Rajeev Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh and appointed Vijay Choudhary to the post.

Addressing a press conference here, Yadav said that Choudhary, a former Congress legislator and currently the JD-U spokesman, has been appointed the new president of the JD-U in Bihar, where the party heads the government.

Singh had submitted his resignation to Yadav in New Delhi Feb 1 after he raised the banner of revolt against Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s ‘autocratic style’ of running the party and the government.

Yadav tried his best to convince Singh to withdraw his resignation during his stay in Patna for the last two days. Sources in the JD-U here told IANS that Yadav held closed door meetings thrice with Singh and Nitish Kumar separately.

‘Singh was so much unhappy with Nitish Kumar that he midway left the meeting with Yadav Sunday morning despite the party chief’s last attempt to persuade him to continue as state party chief,’ a senior JD-U leader said here.

Singh, a Lok Sabha member from Munger, told media persons here before leaving for New Delhi that he has nothing to do with Choudhary’s appointment. ‘My stand is clear, I will continue to raise issues that matter for party and its workers,’ he said.

Till a few months ago, Singh was considered the closest confidant of Nitish Kumar. In the last two months, however, differences surfaced between the duo.

Singh is not alone in publicly targeting Nitish Kumar’s style of running the party and government. Others like senior leaders Prabhunath Singh and Sambhu Saran Srivastava have also rebelled against the chief minister.

Last October, the JD-U suspended Jagdish Sharma, Puranmasi Ram and Ejaz Ali – all parliamentarians – after they criticised Nitish Kumar’s functioning.

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