Rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav on Thursday said he will challenge his disqualification from the Rajya Sabha in court and claimed that his opposition to JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar and the BJP resulted in the ouster. He suggested that he was denied a fair play, noting that the case of embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who “looted” public exchequer, was sent to the Ethics Committee of Parliament but he was not allowed such an opportunity despite being a veteran parliamentarian who took up “people’s causes” in his career.
At a press conference, Yadav disapproved of Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s comments defending his decision but said the institution of the Rajya Sabha was too important to him to attack Naidu. Even Ajmal Kasab, a Pakistani terrorist hanged in India following his conviction in the Mumbai terror attack case, was allowed to exhaust all appeals available to him but in his case the “supreme court”, an apparent reference to Naidu, gave an order straightaway without referring the matter to a parliamentary committee, he said.
Yadav, who was elected to the Lok Sabha seven times and the Rajya Sabha four times, said in a lighter vein that his “new freedom” will give him more time in uniting opposition parties against the BJP. “I was not shocked that I have been disqualified… I was expecting the same outcome,” he said, suggesting that it was decided in advance.
Noting that he had resigned three times in past as an MP on moral ground, Yadav said had he been interested in power, then he would have been part of the government now. The constitutional provisions invoked by the Rajya Sabha chairman to disqualify might not apply in his case, he said, noting that he would file an appeal against it in court. “My fight is for principles and democracy. I will fight it in all forums, including court,” he said. Yadav also accused the BJP of using religion to polarise voters in the Gujarat and claimed that the party will suffer defeat like it did in Bihar.
The JD(U) had sought Yadav’s disqualification after he attended a RJD rally in Patna in August following his opposition to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to jettison his party’s alliance with the RJD and the Congress and join hands with the BJP. The disqualification decision came within three months of the JD(U) moving a plea, inviting criticism from opposition leaders. Naidu, however, said yesterday that justice delayed was justice denied, asserting that such matters should be decided quickly.