Nitish faction removes Sharad Yadav as JD(U)’s Rajya Sabha head, considers steps against dissidents
JD(U) is contemplating “precipitous steps” to suspend leaders or workers who have been attending Sharad Yadav’s rallies in Bihar.india Updated: Aug 12, 2017 22:57 IST
The crisis in Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) came to a boil on Saturday as it removed senior leader Sharad Yadav as head of its parliamentary party in the Rajya Sabha.
The party is also contemplating “precipitous steps” to suspend leaders or workers who have been attending Yadav’s rallies in Bihar, sources said.
RCP Singh, a confidante of the chief minister, will replace Yadav as the party leader in Parliament’s Upper House.
Yadav remained unfazed, asserting that the JD (U) “belonged to him and not just to Kumar”.
Speaking at Madhepura in north Bihar, the former JD(U) chief said he continued to be a part of the mahagathbandhan or grand alliance that defeated the BJP in 2015 assembly elections in the state.
Besides the JD(U), Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress were in the three-party coalition. It ruled Bihar until Kumar broke ranks and formed a government with the BJP in July.
Several JD(U) leaders, including Yadav, were miffed with Kumar’s “unilateral” decision.
Yadav said he represented the “real” JD (U) and called the faction led by Kumar as the “Sarkari party”.
Speculation swirled over his remarks that the party could suspend him.
JD(U) spokesman KC Tyagi said the party’s founder president would be provided an opportunity to present his point of view at a meeting of the national executive scheduled in Patna on August 19.
The JD(U) on Friday suspended Ali Anwar Ansari, its deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha, for “anti-party activities”. He had attended a meeting of opposition leaders convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“The suspension does not affect me. I will continue my struggle to preserve the country’s secular values. Kumar’s decision to align with the BJP is unacceptable,” Ansari said.
At the Patna meeting, the JD(U) will formalise a decision to join the NDA. Indications are that a representative of Kumar’s party will become co-convener of the country’s ruling coalition.
The JD(U) is likely to get some berths in the Union cabinet when the next round of reshuffle in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s council happens.