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Nitish praise on lips, Lalu aide joins Dal

Patna, April 22: Former MLA Ram Pravesh Rai today announced his decision to quit the RJD and join the JD(U).

A day after RJD chief Lalu Prasad addressed a public meeting in Chhapra in favour of his Parivartan Yatra, Rai’s resignation would come as a setback for the party on the former chief minister’s home turf.

Rai has represented Chhapra twice and was considered a confidant of former MP Prabhunath Singh. Rai had deserted the JD(U) before the 2010 Assembly elections in support of the former MP and had joined the RJD. The RJD had fielded him from the Taraiya Assembly in Saran but had lost.

Speaking to reporters in Chhapra today, Rai announced his decision to quit the RJD. Once proclaiming himself the “Hanuman” of Prabhunath Singh, the former MLA was highly bitter about his “Ram” this time. “Prabhunath has cheated and deceived everyone. His politics revolves around himself and his family members. It’s more because of Prabhunath than Lalu Prasad, I am leaving the RJD,” Rai said, swearing to defeat Singh in the bypolls scheduled to be held for Maharajganj parliamentary seat. He praised chief minister Nitish Kumar and his “politics of development” and said he and his supporters would be joining the JD(U) on April 26 in Patna.

The development is not only a setback for Lalu but also a clear indication for the BJP that Nitish Kumar was searching for “alternative candidates” for the Lok Sabha and the Assembly seats.

Chhapra is at present represented by labour minister Janardan Singh Sigriwal of the BJP. During the NDA-I regime, Rai and Sigriwal publicly crossed swords. Later, Sigriwal lodged an FIR against Rai, then a JD(U) MLA.