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Sacrifice in dissent season

Patna, June 4: First he gave up the post of chief minister, accepting moral responsibility for the electoral debacle. Today, he refused to accept facilities granted to him in his capacity as former chief minister by the cabinet.

The cabinet had yesterday approved secretarial staff and orderlies for a former chief minister for five years after demitting office. The order was clearly aimed at Nitish since no ex-chief minister fulfils the five-year criteria.

An image-conscious Nitish today turned down the offer. The former chief minister, who is increasingly using the social media to communicate with people, wrote on his Facebook page: “It appears that I am the lone beneficiary of the cabinet’s approval. I humbly refuse to accept it and request the government to withdraw the offer.”

But his sacrifices aren’t doing anything to quell dissent in the party. Party spokesman Sanjay Singh resigned from his post today, alleging he has been neglected. “I have been the party’s spokesman for too long now. The job had turned boring,” Sanjay said.

Sources close to Sanjay, who was known for his proximity to Nitish, said he was “peeved” at the induction of turncoats (read Samrat Choudhary, Ram Lakhan Ram Raman and Javed Iqbal Ansari who resigned as RJD MLAs to become JDU MLCs and ministers) in the council of ministers at his cost.

Former minister and MLA from Kanti in Muzaffarpur Ajit Kumar also resigned from the state party executive committee.

Yesterday, senior MLA and disciplinary committee convener Gyanendra Singh Gyanu had demanded the sacking of four senior leaders — RCP Singh, Lallan Saraf, Sanjay Gandhi and Lallan Singh.

“Have we worked so hard and stayed loyal to Nitishji to be sacrificed at the altar of the turncoats who till recently had been abusing Nitish,” asked a JDU dissident.

RJD rumblings

The rebellion in the JDU has reached the RJD as well.

Senior RJD leader Mohammad Ashraf Ali Fatmi today resigned from the primary membership of the party, holding Lalu Prasad responsible for the defeat. “Lalu Prasad had worked on the suggestion of a non-political person, Prem Gupta, driving the party to its worst-ever defeat,” Fatmi said, without revealing where he was headed.

Fatmi lost the elections from Darbhanga to the BJP’s Kirti Azad.