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‘Marginalised’ Sharad Yadav to clarify his stand on Nitish Kumar-BJP alliance

Sharad Yadav had not expected Nitish Kumar to break from the Grand Alliance so soon.

india Updated: Jul 27, 2017 15:23 IST
Mammen Mathew
Mammen Mathew
Hindustan Times, Patna
Sharad Yadav,Nitish Kumar,Janata Dal United
Sharad Yadav (right) stands with Congress leaders during a meeting in New Delhi.(Mohd Zakir/HT File Photo)

Sharad Yadav, former national president of the Janata Dal(United), is a troubled man.

The six-time member of Parliament between 1974 and 2009 and three times a member of the Rajya Sabha, who also served as a central minister twice, had not expected Nitish Kumar to break from the Grand Alliance so soon and against his ‘best and considered advice’.

Two days ago, he warned the JD(U) brass, saying such a move could be debilitating to the future of an opposition against the Bhartiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

He also talked to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad overnight after the split came out in the open. Now reticent and consciously keeping out of Kumar’s swearing in ceremony as the Bihar chief minister for the sixth time, Sharad has called for a press conference at 5pm Thursday to clarify his stand.

His move has come as no surprise.

The former MP from Madhepura and a long standing Socialist pillar, Sharad has seen himself ‘slighted’ and marginalised, as his confidantes claim.

Removed from presidentship two years ago after a two-year stint as the head and replaced by Kumar, the Sharad-led group has always complained of non-visibility in the party in recent times. And, he has been reclusive making visits to Patna only when there is an emergency, just as he had done in 2013 when the JD(U) was to break from the NDA.

That time too, his group had resisted the move.

So when Bijendra Yadav, minister for energy and commercial taxes, a known Sharad man, attempted to defend the alliance with Prasad at the JD(U) legislators meet, early last week, his voice was muffled by legislators who shut him up.

Sharad’s next move is unpredictable though the grapevine had it that he could quit the JD(U), even as there was news from within the party that should the NDA wish to accommodate it at the Centre, he could be the top pitch for a senior ministerial post.

RJD insiders have it that Sharad was in touch with Prasad to save the alliance and the RJD expected he would help maintain calm, or, in a crisis even bail out the RJD.

They have insisted Kumar held JD(U) legislators hostage overnight till the swearing in and many of them could have voted for the RJD, given the chance

And detractors of Sharad within the JD(U) have indirectly pointed to his dissatisfaction and his probable hand in helping Prasad to spring a split.

While Yadav’s office would not take calls before the due media time, slated in the evening, it was clear, that with several JD(U) legislators hailing from the Yadav and Muslim communities in Seemanchal, there could be a surprise in the offing ahead.

First Published: Jul 27, 2017 15:23 IST