Raghuvansh Prasad Singh: Architect of MNREGA, Lalu Loyalist

Former Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh died of post COVID-19 complications on Sunday.

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Former Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh died of post COVID-19 complications on Sunday.

Former Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh passed away on Sunday in Delhi at the age of 74. The former Union minister was being treated for complications from the novel coronavirus at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. His condition had worsened on Saturday, following which he was put on a ventilator.

Born in June 1946, the leader represented the Vaishali constituency of Bihar and was the national vice president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal political party. He was made the member of Bihar legislative council in 1991 and then he became the chairman of Bihar legislative council.

He was the Union Cabinet Minister for Rural Development in Manmohan Singh’s government.

Singh is often called the architect of the Mahatma Gandhi Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), that guarantees at least 100 days of employment. He lost two consecutive elections in 2014 and 2019 from Vaishali which he has represented in the Lok Sabha a record five times.

The Recent Shocking Exit From RJD

Singh has been a staunch loyalist of RJD chief Lalu Prasad. So when he quit the RJD on Friday, it shocked many as this came just ahead of the Bihar elections. A handwritten resignation letter read, "After (former Chief Minister and socialist icon) Karpuri Thakur's death, I stood by you for 32 years, but no more," the letter read. He had written about all the love and support he had received from the party so far and asked to, "please forgive me."

But Yadav made it evident that he was not giving up on his old friend so easily. He reverted with another handwritten letter: "Dear Raghuvansh Babu, a letter said to be yours is circulating on the media. I cannot believe it. My family and the RJD family wants to see you back soonest after recovery. For four decades, we have taken every political, social and even family decisions together. First you get better, then we will sit and talk. You are not going anywhere. Know it."

The Lalu Loyalist

Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has been with the RJD since its inception in 1997 and his association with Lalu Yadav goes back to their Janata Dal days.

Speculations were rife that he was going to extend support to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United.

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