The Sharad Yadav camp of the JD(U) has decided to hold separate national executive and national council meetings in New Delhi that will question party chief Nitish Kumar’s decision to join the NDA and the validity of his presidentship of the party. A JD(U) national executive meeting in Patna last month had endorsed Nitish’s decision to join the NDA.
Sources said that the Sharad camp —which claims to be the “real JD(U)” and brands the party led by Nitish as “sarkari JD(U)” —is planning the national executive in New Delhi on September 17, where it is likely to express faith in the leadership of Sharad. The decision taken at the national executive will be endorsed in a national council meeting on October 8. The national council meet will be an open session, and leaders close to Sharad are hopeful that JD(U) leaders from states other than Bihar and Jharkhand will turn up in large numbers.
The Nitish-led JD(U) has repeatedly dismissed claims of a “split” in the party, with the Bihar CM daring Sharad to break the party if he has the numbers. Sharad, despite threats of action including termination of his Rajya Sabha membership, went ahead with his anti-BJP tirade and organised “Save Composite Culture” conferences, which were attended by 14 Opposition parties in Delhi on August 17 and Indore on August 30. The next such event is planned in Jaipur on September 14, sources said.
Despite being warned, Sharad also attended an anti-BJP rally organised by Lalu Prasad’s RJD on August 27, after which the JD(U) announced it would write to Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu for termination of Sharad’s membership. However, no such communication has been sent so far.
Meanwhile, the Sharad camp approached the Election Commission last week staking claim to the party’s name and symbol.
Last year a section of JD(U) leaders led by Govind Yadav were suspended after they challenged the election of Nitish as party president in 2016. After they pursued the matter for close to a year, the EC told them to take up the matter in party fora or the court. “The commission cannot go into disputed facts of this nature,” the EC had said.”
“All JD(U) MLAs and MLCs have given an affidavit expressing faith in the leadership of Nitish Kumar at the party’s national executive in Patna. Nitish is the unquestionable leader of the party and there is no split,” JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi said.