Sharad issues gag order for party leaders

Comes day after party spokesman took potshots at BJP,defended UPA's handling of economy.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: June 23, 2012 8:41:29 pm

AS the latest utterances of Janata Dal (U) general secretary and party spokesman Shivanand Tiwari sought to provoke ally BJP,NDA convener and party president Sharad Yadav stepped in on Saturday and advised his party leaders to consult him before making public statements.

“Various JD(U) leaders have been making statements since yesterday,but I would like to advise them not to make any comment about any issue without asking me,” Yadav told reporters. “If it is about Bihar,then leaders should only comment after consulting Nitish Kumar.”

Tiwari,known to enjoy the confidence of Kumar,on Friday appealed to the BJP to re-consider its stand to back former Lok Sabha speaker P A Sangma for the presidency and also defended UPA’s handling of the economy. He said the state of Indian economy would have been no different even if BJP general secretary and chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad had been the country’s Finance Minister.

Tiwari chose to target Prasad because he had earlier made an appeal to the JD(U) to review its stand on the presidential candidate.

What possibly irked Yadav,apart from the unnecessary pot-shot Tiwari took at Prasad was the party’s spokesman’s endorsement of the economic policies of the UPA,which he had himself severely criticised in the past.

Though no senior BJP leader chose to join the issue with Tiwari,party spokesman Tarun Vijay retorted: “Why is Shivanand Tiwari’s confidence so low that he is advocating the cause of the UPA government by defending its misrule and bad governance?”

Yadav made it clear that the JD(U) support to Mukherjee did not mean a dilution of the party’s stand against the Congress. “We consider Congress and the UPA responsible for the mess in which the country finds itself today,” Yadav said.

He said that parties had broken ranks with their allies during presidential elections in the past too. The Shiv Sena had supported Congress nominee Pratibha Patil in 2007,he said,adding the Akali Dal had earlier supported Zail Singh of the Congress.

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