The fissures in JD(U) came to the fore once again with senior party leader George Fernandes on Friday taking potshots at the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar by dubbing as "unpardonable" the lathicharge on protesting primary school teachers in Patna.
"The JD(U) had made this (justice to teachers) one of the more important planks during the campaign that catapulted Nitish Kumar to the Chief Minister's chair of Bihar. Since then the teachers were peacefully crying for justice," Fernandes, who had not been on the best of terms with Kumar, said in a statement in New Delhi.
Attacking the state government for not keeping its word to the teachers, he said, "But having the police to beat men and women who have been crying for justice for years is unpardonable."
He described as "brutal attack" the lathicharge on the teachers, who he said were peacefully demonstrating for their wages, which have been denied to them earlier by Lalu Prasad's government.
Fernandes' statement came hours after reports from Patna that hundreds of shiksha mitras or temporary primary school teachers clashed with police near the state secretariat during a protest to demand permanent employment, leaving a few persons injured.
The senior JD(U) leader has become increasingly marginalised in the party affairs after Nitish Kumar ensured his close associate Sharad Yadav becoming the JD(U) chief defeating incumbent Fernandes convincingly.