Senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav on Sunday termed the party’s move to remove him as its leader in Rajya Sabha as “love and blessings” of Bihar CM and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar. The senior JD(U) leader, who has spoken out against Nitish’s decision to realign with BJP, did not elaborate on his next course of action, but said he had called a meeting of some JD(U) leaders from across the country later this month. Yadav was on Saturday replaced by Nitish aide R C P Singh as JD(U) leader in the Upper House.
“Kal jo mere saath inhone (Nitish) kiya, ye unka prem aur aashirwad hai (Whatever decision they took is their love and blessings for me),” he said. Asked to explain further, he said those who can decipher political statements would understand what he said.
He said some people were under the false impression that he was not a mass leader. “When Mandal-Kamandal govt (Janata Dal and BJP) government under V P Singh was formed, I had played a key role in the victory of Janata Dal… one can also see people’s response when I toured Bihar in the past three days,” said Yadav.
He evaded questions on whether he would attend JD (U)’s national executive in Patna on August 19. “I am still on the road meeting people and am overwhelmed by their response to my stand on the betrayal of mandate in Bihar. I have called a meeting of some party leaders from across the country later this month,” said Yadav. The JD(U) leader has also called a meeting of Opposition leaders on August 17.
Meanwhile, the war of words between JD(U) leaders backing Yadav and those against him has intensified.
JD(U) spokesperson Ajay Alok said, “Sharad Yadav says the real JD(U) is with him and the JD(U) with Nitish Kumar is Sarkari JD(U). He has no morality left, but if he has any rajnitik sharm (political decorum), he should quit the membership of Rajya Sabha as he is a member there with votes of MLAs of what he calls Sarkari JD(U).”
Countering the charge, Arun Srivastava, who was recently suspended as JD(U)’s general secretary in-charge for Gujarat, said, “Is the party only about 71 MLAs and 12 MPs? Lakhs of workers and hundreds of leaders have made this party. If Nitish Kumar thinks JD(U) is only in Bihar, why doesn’t he make a separate Bihar party. JD(U) has a national character and a history of presence in many states. We have with us Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala M P Veerendra Kumar, eight-time MLA from Gujarat Chhotubhai Vasava (Vasava recently voted for Congress leader Ahmed Patel in Rajya Sabha polls) and party leaders in many states. Fourteen state party chiefs have written to Nitish Kumar, opposing his decision to join hands with BJP.”
He added: “The real JD(U) is with us and we won’t even hesitate to aproach Election Commission and stake claim to the party symbol. But everything will be decided after the August 17 meeting.”
Reacting to Yadav’s upcoming meeting with JD(U) leaders and the state party chiefs writing to Nitish, JD(U)’s national spokesperson K C Tyagi said, “When our party’s national council met in Patna last year in the presence of Sharad Yadavji, we had recognised only five state units, including Bihar. Apart from these, we have no functional unit in any other state.”
Citing examples of National Front and United Front, sources close to Yadav said that instead of joining any party, he will strive to build an alternative at the national level to take on BJP.