The decision to elevate 42-year-old Chaudhary, who was till now the party vice president, was taken during a virtual meeting of the party’s national executive, the RLD statement read.
“During the meeting, party’s general secretary Trilok Tyagi proposed Jayant’s name for the post of national president which was approved by former MP and national general secretary Munshiram Pal and unanimously supported by all members of the national executive,” it added.
Upon his appointment as the new RLD chief, Chaudhary expressed gratitude towards party members and called on them to follow the footsteps of party ideologues Chaudhary Charan Singh and Ajit Singh.
“I am honoured and mindful of challenges ahead. I will try my best to strengthen our organisation and will value inputs as we collectively take our core issues forward. I’m drafting an open letter to express my condolences and solidarity with all Covid-impacted families as a first step,” he later tweeted.
His father Ajit Singh had served as Union minister and was a multiple-time parliamentarian, while grandfather Chaudhary Charan Singh, a leader of the farmers, was the fifth prime minister of the country.
Jayant Chaudhary, a former Lok Sabha MP, graduated from Delhi University and in 2002 completed masters in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The RLD held sway in parts of northern India, especially western Uttar Pradesh, that were dominated by the Jat community until 2014 when it suffered a rout in the Lok Sabha polls. It further suffered losses in the UP elections in 2017.
However, the scion of the Jat family this year started an aggressive campaigning against the BJP-led central and UP governments on the back of the massive farmer protests that began in November 2020 over the contentious new farm laws.
In Tuesday’s national executive meeting, the senior RLD office-bearers condemned the Centre’s handling of the pandemic and also resolved to work hard for the UP elections which are due next year, according to the party statement.