Bihar Minister Rajak likely to quit JD(U)

Ahead of the Assembly elections, Bihar Minister Shyam Rajak is likely to leave the Janata Dal(U) and return to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Monday. Sources said Mr. Rajak, Phulwarisharief MLA, was hurt over “neglect” in the party.

Of late, the party had been promoting Arun Manjhi in the reserved constituency, the sources said, adding that Mr. Rajak was ignored by senior party leaders during the party’s recent virtual meeting.

Late on Sunday, amid speculation that Mr Rajak was likely to quit, State JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh expelled him from the party for anti-party activities.

Mr. Rajak, who was with the RJD and close to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, quit the party in 2009 and joined the JD(U). After the 2015 Assembly election, when the mahagathbandhan came to power, he was not inducted into the Cabinet.

However, after Nitish Kumar parted ways with the RJD to form the National Democratic Alliance government, Mr. Rajak was made the Industries Minister.

He has been the Dalit face of the JD(U).

Meanwhile, the RJD on Sunday expelled three of its MLAs — Maheshwar Prasad Yadav (Gaighat), Prema Chaudhury (Patepur) and Faraz Fatmi (Keoti) — from the party for six years.

“According to Article 33 of the party under rules 5(a) and (b), if a party MLA is found involved in anti-party activities or acting against the principles of the party, then the MLA can be expelled…,” RJD national general secretary Alok Mehta told presspersons.

LJP stand

Earlier, NDA partner and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Chirag Paswan had asked party leaders to gear up to contest all 243 seats, pointing to the widening rift between the LJP and the ruling JD(U).

“Our party’s loyalty and alliance has always been with the BJP and not with JD(U)… I’ll keep pointing out failures of the State government whenever and wherever it was required,” he said on Saturday.

The Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), which is part of the mahagathbandhan, is likely to join the NDA by August-end. Party chief Jitan Ram Manjhi has hinted about his political move ahead of the election. The Assembly elections in Bihar are due in October-November this year and the Election Commission recently said it would be held on schedule.

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