The Janata Dal (United) today moved a step further towards a split.
In Patna, rebel leader Sharad Yadav, on a tour of the state, said the break-up of the ‘grand alliance’, with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
aligning with the Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP), has betrayed the trust of 110 million people of Bihar, who had voted in 2015 for the ‘grand alliance’ to complete a five-year term.
At one of his meetings, Yadav said there now existed two Janata Dals. “People of the sarkari (official) Janata Dal have become the CM and ministers in Patna. The real Janata Dal is among the masses,” he said.
Janata Dal (U) national spokesperson KC Tyagi
warned Yadav to not “cross limits” and that he should put forth his point of view at the party’s national executive in Patna on August 19. JD (U) sources said Yadav could be removed as the party’s leader in the Rajya Sabha, if not expelled. Tyagi said the path Yadav has chosen leads to the doors of Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).
In an act of defiance, Yadav is hosting a ‘conference to save India’s composite culture’ in New Delhi onAugust 17. Several top Opposition leaders, including Communist Party of India (Marxist) chief Sitaram Yechury and Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge, and others, are slated to attend the conference.
Yadav’s lieutenant and Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar is also slated to attend the meeting of Opposition parties called by Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday in Delhi.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, who landed in Delhi today and met President Ram Nath Kovind, is also slated to attend. Bihar CM Kumar will be in Delhi on Friday to attend the oath taking ceremony of Vice President-elect M Venkaiah Naidu. The JD (U) had claimed its MPs voted for Opposition vice presidential candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi. Kumar is also slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his first meeting with the PM after he quit the ‘grand alliance’ and aligned with the BJP.
Yadav landed in Patna on a three-day tour during which he plans to hold “direct dialogue” with people over the breaking of the ‘grand alliance’ that had comprised the JD (U), RJD and Congress. A handful of JD (U) leaders were there to receive Yadav at the airport, but a large number of RJD supporters turned up. Yadav said he continued to stand for the grand alliance. On Wednesday, Yadav has asked JD (U)’s lone legislator in Gujarat to vote for Congress’s Ahmed Patel, while the party had directed him to vote for the BJP
candidate. Chhotubhai Vasava claimed he voted for Patel, and JD (U) sacked party general secretary Arun Srivastav.
Tyagi said: "The political language being used by him is very objectionable and uncomfortable for the party president (Nitish Kumar) and the government (of Bihar). It will be better if he puts his point of view at the party's national executive on August 19. We will ask him to refrain from making statement which crosses limits." Nearly a dozen JD (U) state unit presidents have written to Kumar to register their protests, but beyond Bihar, the party has negligible legislative presence. The Bihar legislators support Kumar.
In a related development, BJP
chief Amit Shah today met union ministers and MPs from Bihar.