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Nitish Kumar New JDU Chief After Lalan Singh Quits Amid Exit Speculation

2023-12-29 07:09:42

New Delhi:

Nitish Kumar was unanimously re-elected as President of Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) at a meeting of the party’s national executive in Delhi on Friday afternoon. The Bihar Chief Minister was re-appointed minutes after aide Lalan Singh stepped down, ending weeks of frenzied speculation.

Speaking to reporters immediately after the meeting, Mr Singh shot down talk of a rift in the party, and said, “Anger? What anger? Why should I be angry? This is the first time I am hearing this word.”

Sources said Lalan Singh was removed because he was seen as being a little too close to the JDU’s alliance partner in Bihar – Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal – amid talk that RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, who is Lalu Yadav’s son and the Deputy Chief Minister, is being prepped to take over.

The change in the JDU’s top leadership also comes months before the 2024 Lok Sabha election and speculation over Nitish Kumar’s prime ministerial ambitions in that race. The JDU boss was apparently passed over as a potential PM candidate for the INDIA opposition bloc earlier this month.

Nitish Kumar and the JDU played rubbished rumours of rifts within INDIA after that incident, when it was suggested the Congress chief, Mallikarjun Kharge, be the bloc’s prime ministerial candidate.

Publicly, Nitish Kumar insisted he only wanted to unite parties opposed to the BJP, and desired nothing for himself. “I felt no disappointment (maayusi)….no resentment (naaraazgi),” he said.

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