Giriraj Singh's political innings might end in 2024
Bharatiya Janata Party's firebrand leader Giriraj Singh has hinted that he might pull the shutters on his political career by 2024. Answering questions of media on Tuesday, the Union Minister said he could bid adieu to politics by the end of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's second term, and said "we are lucky" to have the latter as the head of the nation.
Singh was asked to comment on the growing demand within BJP ranks in Bihar for a change in Chief Ministerial candidate. Bihar's current CM Nitish Kumar is the face of NDA but off late, his ties with the saffron party have (again) strained. This has made way for speculations that the JD(U) chief might be replaced in the 2020 Assembly polls.
Not giving a direct answer to the question, Singh said he might hang his boots soon. "I am among those who had entered public life with the ambition of becoming a legislator, an MP, or acquiring any position of power. I was fired by the nationalistic dream of integration of Kashmir for which our ideologue Syama Prasad Mookerjee gave up his life," he said.
"We are fortunate to have a prime minister like Narendra Modi who, finally, showed the resolve to fulfill the pledge. Nothing more needs to be achieved. I think my political career will come to an end with the ongoing tenure of Modi," the 67-year-old said.
Notably, soon after Centre abrogated Article 370, Singh had tweeted, "Jai Kashmir, Jai Bharat. Abki baar us paar (this time, we will go across)", hinting at Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Singh, who has been a fan of PM Modi since the latter's days as the CM of Gujarat, never agreed with the contentious provisions of the Constitution which granted autonomy to Jammu and Kashmir.
In PM Modi's first term, Singh was a Minister of State (MoS) with an independent charge but was promoted to Cabinet this time. He fought polls from Begusarai, trumping CPI's candidate Kanhaiya Kumar by a margin of over four lakh votes. However, after his candidature was announced he sulked for days. It was only after BJP President Amit Shah intervened, that Singh was satisfied.
Interestingly, Singh, who is known for his divisive remarks, doesn't share a cordial relationship with Kumar. Recently, he stoked a controversy by claiming his constituency was getting "step-motherly" treatment from the state government, and all attention was being diverted to Nalanda, Kumar's native district. While there is huge noise regarding the BJP's CM candidate, both the parties haven't openly commented on it.