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Sacked as leader in RS, Sharad dubs Nitish-led JD (U) ‘sarkari’, claims popular support

Indicating that he was not ready to toe the Nitish Kumar line, despite being outnumbered in the JD (U) by Kumar’s supporters, JD (U) ex-president Sharad Yadav said there were now ‘two JD (U)s in Bihar’.

india Updated: Aug 12, 2017 20:21 IST
Anil Kumar
Anil Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
JD (U) leader,Sharad Yadav,Defies Nitish
JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav remained defiant on Saturday despite facing threat of expulsion from the JD (U). (HT file photo )

Senior JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav, at odds with party president Nitish Kumar since the latter jettisoned the 20 month old grand alliance to form a new government with the BJP, late last month, hit back at Kumar, on Saturday.

“This party is not Kumar’s alone but also belongs to me”, said a seemingly defiant Yadav, a founder-leader of the party, who had merged his original Janata Dal with Kumar’s Samata Party, in 2003, to form the JD (U).

His reaction came close on the heels of his replacement as JD (U) leader in the Rajya Sabha, with RCP Singh, a close confidante of JD (U) president and chief minister Kumar, in the wake of the dissolution of the mahagathbandhan, of which Sharad insisted, he was still a part.

Indicating that he was not ready to toe the Nitish Kumar line, despite being outnumbered in the JD (U) by Kumar’s supporters, Yadav said, “there are two JD (U)s in the state, one is sarkari (official) and another is janata’s (of the people)”.

Party chief Kumar had, on Friday, spelt out the options open for Yadav after his first meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi since new government formation in the state, saying “he is free to take a decision”, insisting, it was a ‘collective’ decision of the state unit to take the BJP’s support.

Silent on his his replacement as JD (U) leader in the Rajya Sabha and his RS colleague Ali Anwar’s suspension from the party for attending a meeting called by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Yadav expressed his displeasure and pain over Kumar’s decision to part ways with the GA.

Yadav, who reached Madhepura on the last leg of his three-day Samvad Yatra, said, “Only those who want to be part of a ruling combination (government) for personal gains are with Nitish Kumar. A majority of leaders and workers, who identify themselves with the people, are with me.”

Despite a seemingly imminent expulsion from the JD (U) staring him in the face, Yadav appeared unfazed and said when he had refused to be cowed down by ex-PM late Indira Gandhi, lesser mortals did not matter.

“I am not afraid to speak the truth and stand by my principles,” he said, referring to his close association with the 1974 Bihar movement leader Jayaprakash Narayan, as a student leader, and his fight against the internal Emergency in 1975, for restoring democracy in the country.

In Madhubani, Yadav indicated that he was aware that action had been taken against a few leaders “who were standing with him” and pressure was on others to “disassociate” themselves from him.

“It is Kumar who changed the mandate given by 11 crore people in favour of Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance). I am still with the public mandate and had sent Anwar to attend Sonia Gandhi’s meeting so that a Bihar like alliance could be replicated in the country to defeat the BJP,” he said.

First Published: Aug 12, 2017 20:21 IST