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Sharad Yadav to attend anti-BJP rally in Patna, faces JD(U) axe

The JD(U) has asked the party’s former national president and Rajya Sabha member to stay away from the rally convened by RJD chief Lalu Prasad

india Updated: Aug 26, 2017 23:19 IST
Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Sharad Yadav,Nitish Kumar,Narendra Modi
Sharad Yadav will attend RJD’s anti-BJP rally in Patna on Sunday defying his party JD (U)’s call to abstain. (HT PHOTO)

Rebel Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav arrived in Patna on Saturday to attend a proposed RJD rally the day after, defying his party’s call to stay away from the anti-BJP show.

The former JD (U) national president and Rajya Sabha member’s participation in the rally would likely to invite the wrath of the party headed by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. The two are engaged in a bitter fight over the control of the party after Kumar snapped ties with the RJD and the Congress, and allied with the BJP to form a new government in Bihar last month.

Yadav and his supporters, earlier this week, approached the Election Commission, claiming they were the “real” JD (U) that enjoyed the support of most of its workers and office-bearers.

They also staked claims over the JD(U)’s poll symbol (arrow) and the offices allotted to the party.

The JD(U) sources said Yadav could be axed from the party in the event of him taking part in the rally convened by former Bihar chief minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad in a bid to put up a united opposition front against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP.

“There is no way that he can save his party membership now,” said JD (U)’s principal spokesperson, K C Tyagi. “We feel sorry for him.”

Yadav, however, justified his attendance. “I don’t have to say anything on the JD(U) plan of action (against me). This is a rally of the Grand Alliance and I have come to participate in the GA rally. The rally is in the interest of Bihar and the nation,” he said.

Leaders of different political parties, including West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee, SP president Akhilesh Yadav and Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad are expected to participate in the RJD’s ‘BJP bhagao desh bachao’ rally.

Yadav has been maintaining that the people of the state had given its mandate to the GA comprising the JD (U), RJD and the Congress, stitched before the 2015 assembly elections.

Since Kumar left the alliance, Yadav has been claiming that he represents the “real” JD(U), while the Bihar chief minister only heads the “sarkari” (JD(U).

In a last ditch attempt to prevent its founding president from attending the rally and avert a split in the party, the JD (U) made an emotional appeal to Yadav urging him not to join the opposition camp.

The party hoped “good sense would prevail’ and “by desisting from attending the rally, he (Yadav) would set new standards.”

“You were invited to express your views at the party’s national executive in Patna. Instead of putting your views at the party forum, you organised parallel anti-party activities. Your presence in the RJD rally, would not only be against high moral standards set by you, but it would be deemed that you have voluntarily decided to leave the party,” Tyagi said in a letter addressed to Yadav on Friday.

Replying to Tyagi’s letter, Javed Raza, a JD(U) general secretary who was recently removed from his post, said Yadav faction was attending the RJD rally in accordance with a resolution of the party’s national council in April last year.

The national council had authorised Kumar to create an atmosphere of “BJP and RSS-free India.”

The Yadav-led JD(U) group claimed by joining hands with the BJP, Kumar defied the resolution.

Meanwhile, JD (U) sources said the party would also likely to use provisions of the 10th schedule of the Constitution to seek disqualification of Yadav from the Rajya Sabha.

As per the provisions, 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.

First Published: Aug 26, 2017 23:19 IST