Hoping for last-minute ‘miracle’, Union minister RCP Singh makes rounds of spiritual leaders
PATNA—Union minister Ram Chandra Prasad Singh looks to have tuned a highly religious person in the aftermath of his party, the Janata Dal United (JD-U), denying him the third consecutive term in the Rajya Sabha. That means Singh, more popular as RCP, will have to quit the Narendra Modi cabinet once his six-year term expires on July 7.
The JD-U headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar has instead nominated a party loyalist Khiru Mahato to the Upper House of the Parliament, thus dashing all his hopes to continue as a minister.
Sounds strange but the Union minister has been meeting one spiritual leader after another and seeking their blessings after visiting their Ashrams. In the past three days, Singh has met a number of spiritual leaders such as Swami Chidanandji Saraswati, Swami Kailashanand Giri Maharaj, Swami Awadheshnand Giri Maharaj and Srimati Sahilbala Pandya (Shanti Kunj, Haridwar) after visiting their ashrams.
Although his visit to those religious places were described by his followers as courtesy calls, his adversaries say Singh had been paying visits to the spiritual leaders in the hope of a “last-minute miracle”.
“This miracle is not possible until the Prime Minister personally intervenes in his case and nominates him to the Rajya Sabha but that would mean annoying his Bihar ally Nitish Kumar and risking the NDA government in the state,” commented a political analyst.
What is further interesting, his supporters have virtually declared a war on the JD-U leadership and prophesied for “all-round destruction” to those who have tried to cut him down to size.
“Itihas gawah hai. Pahle vanwas, fir sadhu-santon ka ashirwad, fir yudhh ka shankhnad…firahankari ka sarvnash (History is a testimony to the fact that that the disaster comes in the end. First step is exile, then the blessings of saints, then follows declaration of war before the annihilation comes finally),” read a comment on “Ramchandra Ki Sena”, a Facebook group believed to be run by the minister’s supporters.
His supporters have turned indignant soon after chief minister Nitish Kumar announced to nominate someone else to the Rajya Sabha this time while Singh urgently required his third term in the House to continue as Union minister. This is set to bring his ministerial career to an abrupt end barely a year after he joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi Cabinet.
His supporters had not imagined even in the wildest dream that it would happen with Singh, Nitish Kumar’s fellow caste man. Further, both hail from the same Nalanda district and have stayed together for past over three decades.
A bureaucrat who transitioned from administration to politics and eventually became a Union minister, Singh’s rise in the power corridors was meteoric, many say. His rise started soon after he resigned from the coveted Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and joined the JD-U.
He was first nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2010 and then re-nominated for the second consecutive term in 2016. Shortly after that, he became the party leader in the Rajya Sabha, replacing Sahard Yadav, before finally getting appointed the party’s national president.
However, trouble began soon after he joined the Modi Cabinet which, many said, was against the wishes of the chief minister who wanted more berths for his party leaders but the former agreed with only berth.
He earned the ire of the party leadership further after he allegedly took no interest in making the BJP enter into seat-sharing deal during the UP assembly elections. In due course, the relationship deteriorated further and eventually he had to go.