Nitish’s remarks come on a day Singh, in an attempt to deny rumours of a schism in his relation with the JD(U) chief, said he respects the party’s decision and reiterated that he had become Union minister with due consent from Nitish.
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Singh also said he would now like to work for strengthening the party.
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Singh told reporters in Patna that he had good relationships with party national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh or Lalan Singh as well. “Whenever Nitish Kumar would call me, I would be present. I would like to work for organisation…. There are several wings in the organisation that can be rebuilt and strengthened,” said Singh.
Asked if Nitish Kumar is a PM material, Singh said: “One needs number to become PM. We are a small party. What is our number?”
RCP Singh said he had not been upset with anyone. “I have a long association (25 years) with Nitish Kumar….I have worked for JD (U) for a long time, moving from villages to villages,” said Singh.
The JD(U) has fielded its Jharkhand unit chief Khiru Mahto while the BJP has considered Satish Chandra Dubey for a second consecutive term besides giving ticket to its Bihar unit secretary Shambhu Sharan Patel.
Nitish asserted that Mahto’s candidature has caused no bitterness with RCP Singh, who “has always been given many important responsibilities, including two consecutive Parliament terms. He has been getting recognition since the days he was an IAS officer.”
Singh’s Rajya Sabha tenure will end in July this year.
“His tenure in Parliament is far from over. The elections are being held before time. There is no need to think of resignation right now,” the CM remarked in Patna.
Nitish, however, dodged queries about future prospects of Singh as also of JD(U) which may be left with no representation at the Centre.
“These things will be thought about at a later stage,” he remarked. —i