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Sharad ‘relents’, may attend JD (U) national executive meet in Patna on Aug 19

Yadav said on Friday he was eager to attend the party’s national executive meet in Patna on August 19, if he was invited; JD (U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi told HT he had already been sent an invitation.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2017 20:02 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Nitish Kumar,JD (U) meet,Sharad Yadav relents
JD (U) leaders Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar: will they hug and make peace? (PTI file photo)

In an apparent climbdown from his ‘defiant’ position , as reported in the past few days, senior JD (U) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Yadav has denied any attempt on his part to float a new party, saying, “I was,am and will remain in JD (U).”

Yadav said on Friday he was eager to attend the party’s national executive in Patna on August 19, provided he was invited. JD (U)’s national spokesperson K C Tyagi told HT that Yadav had been sent an invite, on Friday, to attend the national executive. “He is party’s senior leader and we are expecting him,” he said.

Yadav was unhappy with Nitish Kumar’s move to dump the “grand alliance” and form a government with the BJP, last week. “Whatever happened is very unfortunate, the mandate by the people was not for this,” he had said outside Parliament.

Kumar broke away from the mahagahtbandhan (grand alliance) of three parties – JD (U), RJD and Congress -- on July 26 to form a government with the BJP’s participation, saying he felt “suffocated” in the alliance, while pointing to Lalu Prasad’s son Tejashwi’s refusal to resign as his deputy despite corruption charges.

There was unease in a section of the JD(U) over Kumar joining hands with the BJP, with at least two of its Rajya Sabha MPs--Ali Anwar and M P Veerendra Kumar of Kerala-- making their displeasure public.

A trusted aide of Sharad Yadav, Vijay Verma, went on to comment that Yadav was pondering over the option of forming a new party. RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has already appealed to Yadav to come out of the JD (U) and join the fight by secularists against communal forces.

Yadav denied this outright. “I am sad with Bihar developments. But, I am with JD (U) and remain in the party. I am a founder member of the party. From where does this talk of me forming a new party has come?”, he wondered, soon after a meeting with some RJD leaders, including former union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.

Yadav minced no words in saying that the mandate of Bihar was for grand alliance. “I will put forth my views at the party forum and discuss things in detail,” he said.

Sources said that Yadav had to drop the idea of forming a new party after he failed to get the support of party MLAs from Bihar, who stood behind Nitish Kumar. Two of the dissenting voices were included in Nitish’s cabinet.

Kumar and Yadav, party sources said, had not enjoyed the best of relations, particularly after the tacit backing Yadav provided to Jitan Ram Manjhi, who became CM in May 2014 when Nitish resigned owning responsibility for JD (U) defeat in the Lok Sabha poll.

Although he became CM with Nitish’s approval, Manjhi refused to step down when Nitish wanted to reclaim the position. Yadav’s tacit backing was among the factors cited for Manjhi’s defiance.

Tyagi, an old associate of Sharad Yadav was confident that he would never join hands with Lalu Prasad.

“He had parted ways with Lalu Prasad on the issue of corruption...How can he go with Lalu now?” he asked.

First Published: Aug 04, 2017 20:02 IST