Patna,(BiharTimes): Speculations are rife that the former Bihar Janata Dal (United) chief Rajeev Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh may return to the party fold any day in the near future.
Though both Nitish and Lallan have not been criticizing each other for the last few months the final signal of homecoming came when the two met separately for one hour during the inauguration of Chinese restaurant in Patna a few days back. It is owned by a Janata Dal (United) leader and it is said that the talks were pre-planned.
Two factors started creating gap between Lallan Singh and Nitish at the fag end of 2009. They were the re-induction of Koeri leader, Upendra Singh Kushwaha, into Janata Dal (United) and Nitish government’s move to implement Bandopadhyaya Commission report, which calls for empowering share-croppers.
Though Upendra’s friendship with Nitish appeared to be shortlived, as after becoming Rajya Sabha MP of the party in June 2010, he started distancing himself again, and campaigned vociferously against the NDA candidates in 2010 Assembly election.
Lallan, on the other hand, along with late Union minister and Banka MP, Digvijay Singh, Prabhunath Singh and others organized a big Kisan Mahasammelan in May 2010 to oppose the proposed share cropper law. Patna never witnessed such a huge show of farmers in the near past.
But Digvijay suddenly died in London in June. Prabhunath on August 7, 2010 joined RJD and Lallan Singh decided to campaign for candidates opposed to NDA in the Oct-Nov 2010 Assembly election.
In fact he threw his lot behind the Congress without ever joining the party officially. Since Lallan could not join hands with the RJD and Congress has completely been marginalized in Bihar his departure from Janata Dal (United) had no negative impact on the Janata Dal (United)––or say NDA. It was a big blow to him.
Since then he had been licking his wounds. In the meantime the disciplinary committee of the Janata Dal (United) recommended the suspension of his and three other MPs from the party. This included Upendra Kushwaha, who floated a separate outfit.
Though Lallan was not a mass leader yet he was tallest Bhumihar personality in the Janata Dal (United). The induction of Vijay Chaudhary and P K Shahi was not a good replacement as they lacked Lallan’s manoeuvring skill.
The killing of the Ranvir Sena chief, Brahmeshwar Singh alias Mukhiyaji on June 1 in Ara gave a new twist to the Bhumihar politics in the state. Family members directly blamed Janata Dal (United) MLA, Sunil Pandey and his MLC brother Hulas Pandey, for the killing. Brahmeshwar’s son, Indu Bhushan Singh, even called for the complete social boycott of the two. A large number of Sena activists directly held the Nitish government responsible for the killing of Mukhiyaji.
The violent manner in which the Bhumihars reacted after the killing forced Nitish to re-draw his strategy in dealing with the caste. None but Lallan Singh was the best bet for this purpose. He was present at the cremation of Mukhiyaji. While the Bhumihars targeted many caste leaders of the NDA during the cremation procession Lallan was spared.
Lallan, too was eager to catch the opportunity with both the hands, as he was left high and dry in the state politics.