Janata Dal (United) floor leader Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, accompanied by party colleague Sanjay Jha, on Tuesday petitioned Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu seeking disqualification of former party chief Sharad Yadav from the House. Yadav was elected to the Rajya Sabha last year and his tenure ends in 2022. If unseated, he can return to the House from Bihar if RJD chief Lalu Prasad chooses to support him during the biennial polls.
The petition stated that Yadav had participated in a rally organised by the RJD in Patna on August 27, defying a party directive conveyed to him by JD(U) secretary-general K C Tyagi in writing ahead of the rally. Tyagi had made it clear that if Yadav attended the RJD rally, it would mean that he had “voluntarily” quit the JD(U).
The letter also pointed out to Yadav that he had already “publicly criticised” the unanimous decision of the Bihar JD(U) legislature party (to walk out of the Grand Alliance) taken on July 12. Though the party had invited him to present his views at the national executive and national council meetings in Patna on August 26, he kept pursuing his “parallel anti-party activities”, it said.
Singh contended in the petition that Yadav, by attending the RJD public meeting, had “voluntarily” given up membership of the JD(U). Therefore, it was a fit case for disqualification under schedule 10 of its constitution.
He also cited the cases of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and Upendra Kushwaha, who had been earlier disqualified on this ground.
Singh, who had replaced Yadav as the party leader in the Upper House on August 12, pointed out that the decision to join the NDA had been taken by the national executive of the party. It had been supported by 17 of the 20 national office-bearers, all 16 state units, all 71 MLAs and 30 MLCs in Bihar and nine MPs.
Notwithstanding his stature, Yadav is isolated as far as party MPs are concerned. He has the backing of only one Rajya Sabha member, Ali Anwar, whose term ends next March.