Raghuvansh Prasad’s Death Adds to the Mess That Poll-Bound Bihar Finds Itself Today

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Raghuvansh Prasad

Questions are being raised on the veracity of the resignation letter that the veteran RJD leader purportedly wrote just three days before his demise

Soroor Ahmed | Clarion India

THE death of former Union rural development minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh on Sunday, three days after the circulation of his ‘resignation letter’ from RJD, has kicked up a storm in the political circles. Not only RJD leaders and workers, even senior journalists have started questioning the veracity of the letter as the departed soul had been undergoing treatment and was in the ICU of AIIMS, New Delhi. On September 12 he was even put on ventilator.

While RJD supremo Lalu Prasad on September 10 itself rejected the ‘resignation letter’ and questioned its  genuineness, it was veteran Hindi journalist Dinesh Kumar Singh who, in an article written on September 12, that is even before the death,  came down heavily on the BJP and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for what he alleged demeaning Raghuvansh at the fag end of his life. The social media is also full of comments as to how the NDA in Bihar is, in their words, trying to put all sorts of pressure on ailing Raghuvansh when he was on his death-bed.

According to Dinesh Kumar Singh, the former Union minister was the bitterest critic of Nitish Kumar and had even warned Lalu Prasad to beware of him when the latter was making him the chief minister as late as in November 2015. Curiously, after Nitish’s departure from the Grand Alliance it was Raghuvansh who proposed that Tejashwi Prasad would be the chief ministerial candidate of the RJD.The Hindi journalist even wrote that the last time Raghuvansh Prasad came to Patna on June 4 he told mediapersons that the people would never forgive Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi for the way they are being mistreated by government during the Corona Virus and subsequent lockdown. After that Raghuvansh himself tested positive and has been treated first in AIIMS, Patna, and then in AIIMS, New Delhi, for post-COVID-19 complications.

The article by Dinesh also charged Nitish with playing the same dirty game which led to the death of former Union minister of state and senior leader of Janata Dal United Digvijay Singh.

What is strange is that ever since the circulation of Raghuvansh’s ‘resignation letter’ on Sep 10 the Janata Dal United and BJP leaders have taken a U-turn and started showering praise on the departed leader for introducing MGNREGA in the country and for the big change in the condition of rural roads in Bihar under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

Till now the Janata Dal United leaders never allowed anyone other than Chief Minister Nitish Kumar from taking credit for the face-lift of roads in Bihar. Mind it, Raghuvansh had always maintained that the condition of roads in Bihar has improved a lot because of centrally sponsored schemes  and the work done by National Highway Authority of India and that Nitish has been taking undue credit for them.

The irony is that between June 16, 2013 and July 26, 2017 top BJP leaders too have been giving credit  to most of the development works in Bihar to the then centrally-sponsored schemes as Nitish had then been their sworn enemy during this period. What is strange is that the BJP leaders were thus indirectly ready to give credit to the then Manmohan Singh government and not Nitish during that same period. But once Nitish made a homecoming after July 26, 2017 the same BJP leaders once again started praising Nitish as the development man of Bihar.

Independent political observers are of the view that now after the lockdown MGNREGA is being praised all over the country for providing jobs to the migrant labours the BJP and Janata Dal United leaders have hatched a plan to take the credit away from RJD and declare that Raghuvansh is no more in that party, if not in their own camp.

In the poll-bound Bihar, the battle between NDA and Grand Alliance is becoming much more stiff than one-sided as predicted by many analysts the former is badly in need of any new formula to malign the latter.

The death of Raghuvansh just three days after the circulation of the letter has given the RJD leaders enough ammunition to fire at the BJP and Janata Dal United on the plea that both Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar have badly mistreated their own mentors, Lal Krishna Advani and George Fernandes respectively, at the fag end of their career. Raghuvansh, at least was not the mentor of Lalu, just a close lieutenant who, according to them, remained loyal till the last breath.

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