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Raghuvansh Prasad Singh succumbs to post-COVID complications

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Former RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh on Sunday succumbed to post-COVID complications. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh breathed his last at AIIMS, New Delhi, where he was availing treatment for coronavirus-related complications. He was in a critical state during the last 24 hours and on ventilator support.

The 74-year-old leader had tested positive for COVID-19 in June. He successfully defeated COVID-19 and tested negative. The former Union minister was then admitted to AIIMS almost a week after he developed post –COVID symptoms.

Singh was a very old associate of former Union railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. However, owing to differences, he dissociated himself from the party and wrote a handwritten note to Yadav. His resignation from the party and a subsequent open letter to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar led to a lot of political speculations.

Differences over Rama Singh

A staunch loyalist of the RJD supremo whom he supported in thick and thin, Singh ran afoul with the party a few months ago when murmurs about mafia don turned politician Rama Singh, his rival in Vaishali Lok Sabha constituency, led him to resign from the post of the national vice-president.

A cabinet colleague of Prasad in the Manmohan Singh government, Singh thereby stymied Rama Singhs entry into the party. Although he did not give up the primary membership at that time, he stayed away from the RJDs routine affairs. It was attributed, in part, to his ill-health.

Note to Lalu went viral

On September 10, his hand-written note addressed to Lalu Prasad Yadav declaring that he has had enough went viral on social media.

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On the same day, the RJD supremo sent a letter to Singh from Ranchi, making an emotional appeal to his companion for over three decades not to leave the party.

Architect of MNREGA

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh is often called the architect of MNREGA. The grand scheme was floated when he was the Union rural development minister. Singh was in political wilderness for some time, having lost two consecutive elections in 2014 and 2019 from Vaishali. He had represented Vaishali in Lok Sabha for a record five times.

Sour relations with Tejashwi

His relations with Tejashwi Yadav, younger son and heir apparent of Lalu Prasad Yadav, turned sour. It began when he started pitching for Nitish Kumar back to the Grand Alliance helmed by the RJD, after the party received its worst-ever drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

The JD (U) was said to be keen to win over Singh, a highly respected Rajput leader, in the run-up to the Assembly elections. Speculations were rife that it is mooting a legislative council berth for the Singh’s son.

 

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