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JD(U) petitions Rajya Sabha chairman for Sharad Yadav’s suspension

The JD(U) had declared that action would be taken against Sharad Yadav on the very day he decided to attend RJD’s ‘Desh Bachao, BJP Bhagao’ rally in Patna on August 27.

cities Updated: Sep 06, 2017 00:23 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Janata Dal (United),JD(U),Sharad Yadav
Rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Monday. (PTI)

With barely a couple of weeks to go before the JD(U) rebel faction convenes a national executive meet on September 17, the Nitish Kumar camp has formally petitioned Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to suspend the membership of party co-founder Sharad Yadav and upper house legislator Ali Anwar.

Yadav and Anwar invited the party leadership’s wrath after they violated the party’s diktat against attending the RJD’s ‘Desh Bachao, BJP Bhagao’ rally in Patna on August 27.

A letter to this effect was handed to Naidu – also the Indian vice-president – by party Rajya Sabha leader RCP Singh and general secretary Sanjay Jha. The constitutional provision under which the JD(U) is seeking the suspension states that “an elected member of the house, who has not been elected as a candidate set up by a political party, joins any political party after his election, or if he voluntarily gives up his membership of the political party, if any, by which he was set up as a candidate for election as such member, in those circumstances, a member is disqualified as a member of the house (sic)”.

The JD(U) had declared that action would be taken against Yadav on the very day he decided to attend the RJD rally. “He was officially told by JD(U) principal spokesperson KC Tyagi to not attend the rally, but he ignored the request,” said Jha.

Yadav had also undertaken a tour of the state with RJD support.

The party co-founder was removed as the JD(U) leader in the Rajya Sabha on August 11, after he refused to fall in line with Kumar’s decision to leave the grand alliance and form a new government with the BJP’s aid. “The decision to join the NDA was taken at the Bihar legislative party meeting, and endorsed by both the national executive and national council on August 19,” Jha said.

Yadav was removed from the position through a letter sent to him by Kaushalendra Kumar, another party MP. The veteran leader said in his reply that the letter was “absolutely without any jurisdiction or authority”.

The rebel group has decided to convene its own national executive meeting in Delhi on September 17 as part of its efforts to “isolate” Nitish Kumar and ratify its claim of being the “real JD(U)”. The group had already staked its claim on the party symbol – the arrow – by petitioning the Election Commission in this regard on August 25.

The two groups are waging a bitter battle for control over the party. Tyagi claims the support of 16 out of 22 state units for the Nitish Kumar group, whereas the Sharad Yadav faction holds that representatives from 27 states would be attending the Delhi meeting.

The Bihar chief minister’s faction has brought out a list of 70 MLAs, 30 MLCs, seven Rajya Sabha MPs and two Lok Sabha MPs in its campaign to secure the party symbol.

First Published: Sep 06, 2017 00:23 IST