Amid signs of imminent action against Sharad, his faction to claim it is ‘real’ JD (U)
The Rajya Sabha MP’s supporters are mulling a plan to present their group before the Election Commission as the ‘real’ JD (U), claiming support of 14 state units.india Updated: Aug 13, 2017 20:42 IST
Amid signs of an “imminent and conclusive” action against Sharad Yadav for ‘crossing the party line’, his supporters are mulling a plan to present their group before the Election Commission as the ‘real’ JD (U), claiming support of 14 state units.
The move comes after JD (U) replaced Yadav as the leader of its parliamentary party in the Rajya Sabha with RCP Singh, a close confidant of party president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, setting off speculation that suspension of the former president was just a matter of time.
The faction, led by Yadav, who completed a three-day Samvad Yatra to oppose Kumar’s decision to quit the grand alliance and form a new government with the BJP, has taken a cue from his statement that the “party does not belong to Nitish alone, it is mine too” and garnered letters of support from 14 state unit chiefs.
Confirming the development, Arun Srivastava, who was removed from the post of JD (U) general secretary, said, “We have the support of 14 state units and two Rajya Sabha MPs and several national office bearers, as opposed to the backing for party president Nitish Kumar that is confined to Bihar.”
He also sought to counter Kumar’s assertion that the JD(U) was a recognised political outfit only in Bihar, saying that the party had a national footprint and always aspired to expand its reach further.
The one-state recognition stand has helped the party treat the “mandate defying” move as a local matter, without getting it endorsed by the national executive, and now, is giving leverage to the party in fending off the ‘claim’ on JD (U) by Sharad faction.
However, those not happy with Kumar’s line express solidarity with Sharad Yadav’s stand that the JD(U) was his party too. “It was Yadav who headed the party before Kumar merged his Samata Party with it 9in 2003),” they said.
Hopeful of success, at least to the extent of causing a split, Arun Shrivastava said, “We are not leaving the party. If Kumar insists that the party does not exist outside Bihar, he should form a new party for the state instead of trying to retain hold on JD(U), which always had a national presence.”
That things were heading for a showdown became evident with Yadav insisting that suspension of his supporters would not deter him, as the number of partymen ‘displeased’ by Kumar’s actiont was more than what was visible at the surface.
“Kitne logon ko nikaloge, ungliyan dard karne lagengi (how many will you suspend/expel, your fingers will start hurting),” he said, without naming anyone but in an apparent reference to the action against JD (U) RS MP Ali Anwar, who was suspended for attending a meeting call by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“People are not going to pardon anyone for defying their trust”, Sharad said.
While Kumar had said that Yadav was free to take his decision, soon after submitting a letter to Rajya Sabha chairman for replacing Yadav as the party leader, JD(U) state president Bashistha Narayan Singh said, “Anyone indulging in anti-party activities will face suitable action.”