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Sharad Yadav announces ‘parallel’ JD (U) team; Ramai is ad hoc Bihar president

The announcement came days before Yadav is to appear before Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on the JD (U) ‘official’ leadership’s plea for his disqualification from upper house under the anti-defection law.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2017 18:14 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Sharad Yadav,JD (U) RS MP,Parallel office-bearers
JD (U) Rajya Sabha member Sharad Yadav with his group’s newly-appointed Bihar unit chief Ramai Ram (left). (HT file photo)

The Sharad Yadav faction of the JD (U), on Saturday, released a list of its ‘interim office-bearers’, with Gujarat MLA Chhotubhai Vasava named working president and Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar as one of the vice-presidents. Former Bihar minister Ramai Ram has been made ad-hoc president of Bihar unit.

The list also includes the names of presidents of 18 other states. Among the national office-bearers are four vice presidents and 10 general secretaries, including Arun Kumar Srivastava, Javed Raza and Arjun Rai.

The leadership of the faction announced election for party posts will be held on March 11, 2018.

The announcements came just days before JD (U) ‘rebel’ MPs – Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar – are slated to appear before Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to answer to the JD (U) official leadership plea for their disqualification from the upper house under the anti-defection law.

Yadav and Anwar have been asked to appear before the chairman of Rajya Sabha on October 30, after the RS secretariat took cognizance of a petition submitted by RCP Singh, who replaced Yadav as the party leader in the Upper House.

The Rajya Sabha (RS) secretariat has issued show cause notices to them to presenting their case before the chairman.

Singh had urged RS chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to disqualify the two leaders for allegedly “indulging in anti-party activities and voluntarily quitting the party”. While Ansari is set to retire in April next year, Yadav’s term, unless cut short, will end in 2022.

The move to announce the national and state presidents by Yadav faction is being seen as “one last effort” to impress upon the Election Commission on its claim to the party symbol – the Arrow. On earlier occasions, Yadav had failed to submit requisite documents to back his claim for the symbol.

The EC, in an order passed recently, had said that the Yadav group did not produce any supporting document to show that they have adequate support of the legislative wing and the organizational wing, which qualified it to make it a ‘splinter group of the party within the meaning of paragraph 15 of Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order, 1968.’

Yadav group had, on August 25, made a representation to the EC, claiming it was the rightful claimant to the party symbol.

The Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar-led ‘official’ group had, on September 9, made a counter claim on the symbol by producing affidavits showing support of all 71 MLAs and 30 MLCs in Bihar, as well as, two Lok Sabha and seven Rajya Sabha MPs and a majority of national executive and national council members.

Releasing the list of his group’s office-bearers, on Saturday, Yadav claimed the group had produced 429 affidavits in support of its claim.

In response to a question about a notice from the Rajya Sabha asking him and Anwar to appear before the RS chairman, Yadav said, “Lawyers are examining the matter. For me, membership is not bigger than the country.”

The Rajya Sabha MP hit out at the NDA government at the centre for not fulfilling its pre-poll promises on employment generation and farmers’ welfare. Instead, it had raised an unnecessary controversy around the national treasure that was the Taj Mahal.

First Published: Oct 21, 2017 18:14 IST