Former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh passes away at 74

Former Union minister and veteran Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh breathed his last on Sunday. He was 74.

Singh was undergoing treatment at Delhi’s AIIMS after he developed post COVID-19 complications. He was put on a ventilator on Saturday 

A part of active politics since 1977, he was close to RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav. He was an MP from Vaishali for four consecutive times. He was also a minister in the UPA government.

Prior to joining politics, Raghuveer Prasad taught mathematics. He received his doctorate from Bihar University and worked as a professor at Goenka College, Sitamarhi from 1969 to 1974. Professor of Mathematics Dr Raghuvansh Prasad Singh was active in the job movements and went to jail many times. For the first time in 1970, Raghuvansh Prasad went to jail during the teacher movement.

He was also jailed during the United Socialist Party movement in 1973. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh participated in the JP movement of 1974. At this time, the Congress government was in power in both the Center and Bihar. The Bihar government sacked the jailed Raghuvansh Prasad Singh from the post of professor. After this Raghuvansh Prasad Singh did not look back again and started on the path of Karpoori Thakur, Jai Prakash Narayan.

Singh was widely regarded as the brain behind the MNREGA scheme, which was launched when he was the Union Minister for Rural Development in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet.

Notably, Singh, who was close to RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, had resigned from the party on Thursday, which was rejected by Lalu. 

In his resignation letter, he had said, “32 years after Jannayak Karpoori Thakur stood behind you but not now.” 

“I have always stood behind you for the party for many years but will not be able to stand anymore. I apologize for that. I have received a lot of love from the party workers and the public for which I’m grateful,” the letter read further. 

The letter in Hindi read, “A letter allegedly written by you is being run in the media. I can’t believe it. The RJD family, me and my family want you to get well soon and have you amongst us. In the four decades, we have considered every political, social and even family matters together. You get well soon, then we will sit and talk. You are not going anywhere, understand that.”

A day later, he wrote to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, leading to speculations that he was planning to join JD(U).

Earlier in June Singh had resigned from the post of the National Vice President of the RJD. He had then raised questions over the style of work of Bihar RJD President Jagdanand Singh.

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