Former Union minister RCP Singh on Tuesday vented spleen against Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, accusing him of “betraying” his socialist roots by aligning with the Congress which revolutionary leader Jayaprakash Narayan had fought tooth and nail.
Mr Singh, who had to resign from the Union cabinet after denial of another Rajya Sabha term by the JD(U), also alleged while talking to reporters in Patna that the Bihar CM liked a “darbaari” (courtly) culture, a reason why his public interaction has been named “janta durbar”.
He also sought a white paper on the weekly public interaction programme, alleging that money was splurged but nothing came of it.
Senior JD(U) leader and state minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, however, shot back, making an oblique reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.
“He should remember that Nitish Kumar was praised as the only true socialist after JP, Lohia and George Fernandes, by none other than the one before whom he has been prostrating (jinke charanon mein vo lete hue hain),” Mr Chaudhary told PTI.
Notably, the PM had appreciated Nitish Kumar for remaining free of the taint of dynasty politics in an interview several months ago.
Mr Chaudhary also reminded Singh, a bureaucrat-turned-politician, “JP was never in favor of RSS people joining his movement. The issue of dual membership led to the Janata Party government’s fall. Clearly, RCP has poor knowledge of the history of socialist movement.”
The “darbaari culture” claim by Mr Singh, who served as Nitish Kumar’s private and then principal secretary until resigning from the IAS and joining the JD(U) in 2010, was also ridiculed by Chaudhary.
“It is he (RCP) who likes to hold a durbar and lord over others, a complaint that the party rank and file used to make when he was the JD(U) national president,” said Mr Chaudhary.
“He should also know that the name of the programme is ‘Janata Ke Durbar Mein Mukhyamantri’ which clearly indicates the CM’s belief that the people are supreme and we are supposed to serve them,” the state minister asserted.
The minister also slammed Mr Singh for demanding a white paper on the weekly public interaction programme.
“Most complaints usually pertain to education department. These are redressed and proper records are maintained. If he cares about facts he should give up the white paper rhetoric and meet us to learn what this programme has achieved,” said Mr Chaudhary.
“I have been active in politics for 40 years. I challenge RCP to show one chief minister who has toured villages to learn firsthand the problems faced by people as much has Nitish Kumar has done. He would have known it had he himself not been just a durbaari (courtier),” Mr Chaudhary added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)