Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is likely to remove Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh as the Janata Dal (United) chief, sources have said. The decision is likely to be taken on December 29, during the party's national executive meeting in Delhi.
With the speculations, sources said Nitish Kumar may himself take over as the party chief.
Nitish is also learnt to have been advised by his close confidantes that he should take over as the party president as it will help avoid any rumbling within the party, which may otherwise be triggered if a new face replaces Lalan Singh.
According to sources, Nitish Kumar is upset with Lalan Singh over the way he has been functioning and especially his growing proximity with RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav.
Reports said Lalan Singh was keen on contesting the 2024 Lok Sabha elections again from Munger and he might contest on an RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) ticket.
Reports said Nitish was also upset with Lalan Singh for his failure to co-ordinate well with INDIA bloc partners to fulfill his national ambitions.
If removed as the party chief, Lallan Singh will join the league of other party senior leaders, like George Fernandes, Sharad Yadav, RCP Singh, Upendra Kushwaha and poll strategist Prashant Kishor, who were previously replaced, despite being extremely close to Nitish Kumar.
Meanwhile, at the recent meeting of the INDIA bloc, Nitish Kumar stressed the need to finalise seat-sharing arrangements by January, a key aide told news agency PTI.
JD(U) national general secretary Sanjay Kumar Jha, who had attended the meeting along with Kumar in Delhi on December 19, briefed reporters at the party office and said, "Nitish Kumar expressed the view that seat sharing should be complete by January. After that, all parties should come out with a common minimum programme, since to challenge the current regime we must have a counter-narrative, and plunge into the campaign."
He, however, refuted reports in a section of the media that Kumar grew "upset" over the coalition's reluctance to name him the convener of INDIA and had skipped the post-meeting press conference to register his protest.