PATNA: Former Union minister and senior RJD leader Raghunath Jha died at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) in Delhi late Sunday night, dealing yet another blow to the main Opposition party.
Jha, 78, who held many portfolios both in the state governments and at Union government, was suffering from kidney ailments.
He served major political parties such as the Congress, Socialist Party and the Samajwadi Party, apart from the RJD.
He was one of the few leaders in the RJD who enjoyed the confidence of the party chief Lalu Prasad.
He had helped Prasad become the chief minister in 1990 where defeat stared at the latter and his rival Ram Sundar Das’s victory looked certain.
As per reports, Jha had turned the contest being held for electing the chief minister of Bihar triangular and grabbed 27 voters, thus helping Prasad emerge victorious against his rival Das in the fight for the throne. But for Jha jumping into the contest, Prasad would have easily lost to late Das, as per reports.
In September 2015, he quit the RJD irked at the “dictatorial” attitude of the party president but returned to his party very soon.
RJD chief Prasad who is currently in jail expressed shock over death of his party colleague saying he would have paid his last respect to him had he been out on bail.
“I am deeply shocked at the death of my leader but I can’t pay him even floral tributes since I am in jail,” Prasad told the local media when he was brought to the local court in Ranchi for his appearance in another fodder scam case.