Senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav today congratulated Congress' Ahmed Patel for winning the election to a Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, "in spite of the toughest hurdles". "Heartiest congratulations on your victory in Rajya Sabha election in spite of toughest hurdles.
Wish you all success in your career (sic)," he wrote on Twitter. Yadav also posted a photograph of his with Patel, the political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, on the microblogging website. Apparently charting a different path vis-a-vis his party, the senior JD(U) leader is scheduled to embark on a three-day tour of Bihar from tomorrow to have a "direct dialogue" with the people. His congratulatory message to Patel assumes significance at a time, when the JD(U) has joined hands with the BJP to form the government in Bihar. Yadav's message comes in the backdrop of reports of the lone JD(U) MLA in the Gujarat Assembly, Chhotu Vasava, voting for Patel, notwithstanding the fact that his party is in a coalition with the BJP in Bihar. The JD(U) had last night removed Arun Shrivastav, a close confidante of Yadav, from the post of party general secretary for writing "without authorisation" to the returning officer of the Gujarat Assembly, appointing an election agent for the Rajya Sabha poll. Yadav, who is a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar, has posted the details of his three-day tour of the eastern state on his Twitter handle. After he lost to Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav from the Madhepura Lok Sabha seat in 2014, the JD(U) had sent Yadav to the Upper House of Parliament last year. Yadav's Bihar tour is being viewed as a sign of his annoyance over Nitish Kumar breaking the Grand Alliance of the JD(U), RJD and Congress and joining hands with the BJP to form the government in that state. Two other JD(U) MPs, Ali Anwar and M P Veerendra Kumar, also reportedly miffed over Kumar's decision, had met Yadav to express their resentment. Meanwhile, the JD(U) distanced itself from Yadav's Bihar tour. "We have nothing to do with his yatra... It is a personal programme of Sharad Yadav," JD(U) chief spokesman in Bihar Sanjay Singh told PTI. Another JD(U) spokesman, Neeraj Kumar, also described Yadav's tour as a "personal" programme. Singh refused to speak much on Yadav, but said, "He has changed his path." RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has praised Yadav and appealed to the veteran leader to join the fight against the communal forces in the country. During his three-day Bihar tour, Yadav is scheduled to interact with the people of Patna-Sonepur and Muzaffarpur tomorrow. On August 11, he is scheduled to visit the Muzaffarpur- Darbhanga-Madhubani stretch and on August 12, he is scheduled to go to Madhubani-Supual-Madhepura.
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