'Every district office of the party celebrated his exit by distributing sweets and bursting crackers.'
Former Congress MP Ratanjit Pratap Narain Singh's quitting the party and joining the Bharatiya Janata Party has brought cheer to Jharkhand Congressmen who welcomed the news with a sense of relief.
After RPN Singh's exit from the party, the mood was so jubilant in the Congress's Jharkhand unit that there were celebrations across the state with party workers bursting crackers.
"RPN Singh was trying to woo 12 Congress MLAs to the BJP. He wanted to break the Congress party in Jharkhand. He did not succeed. We are all happy now he is out of the party," Congress MLA Amba Prasad tells Syed Firdaus Ashraf/Rediff.com.
The Congress has 16 MLAs in Jharkhand and is in alliance with Chief Minister Hemant Soren's Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.
In the assembly election in December 2019, the JMM defeated the then ruling BJP which was riding high in the state on the success of its 2019 general election victory.
The BJP won 11 out of Jharkhand's 14 Lok Sabha seats in the May 2019 election.
Seven months later, the BJP won 25 out of 81 assembly seats.
The JMM won 30 seats, the Congress 16 seats. The Rashtriya Janata Dal, another JMM ally, won one seat.
The Gandhi-Nehru family assigned R P N Singh to the state to ensure that the JMM-led alliance government ran smoothly.
"Ever since RPN Singh came to Jharkhand he took steps to weaken the the Congress party. He was in constant touch with the BJP and had planned to topple our government," says Prasad.
"When we told him solution 'A' was in the Congress's best interests and solution 'B' would have disastrous consequences for the party, RPN Singh chose to go with solution 'B'," says Prasad.
Asked why she or other leaders did not alert the Congress high command about his activities, she says, "We did that. I am sure RPN quit the Congress because he knew he would be sacked from the party."
Asked how his exit would make a difference to the Congress party in Jharkhand, Prasad says, "R P N Singh's exit will not make an iota of difference to the Congress party. Every district office of the party celebrated his exit by distributing sweets and bursting crackers."
"He always heard out our problems, but never passed on our concerns to the Congress high command in Delhi," Prasad adds. "He never came up with any solutions for the betterment of the party. He had his own agenda and we are happy he is no longer a part of our party."