Lalan Singh elected Janata Dal (United) national president

He replaces Ram Chandra Prasad Singh who was recently inducted in Narendra Modi’s cabinet.

Munger MP and close aide of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Rajiv Ranjan Singh popularly known as Lalan Singh, was elected as Janata Dal (United)’s National President, replacing Ram Chandra Prasad (RCP) Singh who was recently inducted in Narendra Modi’s cabinet.

The decision was taken at JD(U)’s National Executive Committee meeting held at the party’s Jantar Mantar office in Delhi.

Lalan Singh has been Mr Kumar’s man Friday since the 1980s. More recently, he is credited for bringing LJP’s sole Bihar MLA Raj Kumar Singh into the JD(U) apart from Independent Sumit Kumar Singh. He is also considered one of the masterminds behind the dismemberment of LJP with Pashupati Nath Paras snatching away the party leadership from nephew Chirag Paswan.

Mr Kumar had handed over the baton to RCP Singh after taking over as Bihar Chief Minister, for the fourth time in a row. As the National President, RCP Singh was given the responsibility to negotiate with the BJP for berths in the latest round of cabinet expansion. Many party leaders watched with dismay, when instead of the “proportional representation” the party settled for a symbolic representation. It got merely one berth which was RCP Singh. Mr Kumar has so far not cleared the air whether or not he was on board with this decision.

JD(U) had won 16 out of the 17 Lok Sabha seats it contested as against 17 won by BJP and six by LJP as part of the NDA. One was won by Congress. Bihar has 40 Lok Sabha seats. As per their deductions the BJP has five ministers from Bihar, so JD(U) proportionally should get four.

Lalan Singh was a front-runner for a cabinet post. The National President’s post, many see, is merely a consolation prize.

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