The national president of the Janata Dal (United), Sharad Yadav, “apologised” to the people of Bihar on Friday for not only bringing Nitish Kumar of his own party and RJD president Lalu Prasad to power, but also for backing them to stay in power.
“I am taking responsibility for the pathetic condition of the state because I helped Lalu Prasad and later Nitish Kumar in governing Bihar. Both have pursued the politics of caste,” Yadav said.
Yadav was campaigning for Bijendra Choudhary, JD(U) candidate for Muzaffarpur, against former Union minister and Congress candidate, Akhilesh Prasad Singh and BJP’s Ajay Nishad, son of former Union minister Capt Jai Narain Nishad.
He also said the candidate for whom he was campaigning in Muzaffarpur had suddenly become full of himself, although it was Yadav who had set him on his career path within the party.
Former NDA convenor Yadav has recently found himself on a sticky wicket in Madhepura, which he has represented four of the six times he has been to Parliament.
Faced with a tough challenge from Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav of the Congress-RJD combine and Vijay Singh Kushwaha of the BJP, Yadav faces the possibility of being beaten on his home turf, courtesy a split in votes of his own Yadav caste, which earlier used to dictate the results.
Yadav is also known to have been opposed chief minister Nitish Kumar’s insistence on the JD(U)’s exit from the NDA. But he later reluctantly went with it and the split finally came in last July.
He said, “This state has seen the likes of Karpoori Thakur, a true socialist and a mass leader. But look at what Lalu Prasad did. He totally destroyed the pride and dignity of Bihar. Even chief minister Nitish Kumar has followed the path of Lalu in politics.”
Sharad had been on a warpath against his perceived enemies — including the media. He blamed the BJP for its alleged money-bag politics for the media turning against him and his party, especially in Madhepura.
He will be the most important among a series of senior JD(U) politicians, such as NK Singh and Shivanand Tiwari, to have launched a counter to JD(U) politics.