February 25, 2018

Sharad begins Bihar tour, says he leads true JD(U)

11 August 2017, 12:35 | Marta Robbins

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In just about a fortnight since JD (U) president Nitish Kumar took his party out of the grand alliance in Bihar to join hands with BJP and stay on as chief minister, he is face to face with a revolt by the senior most party leader Sharad Yadav, pushing the party to the edge of a split.

"I still stand with Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) that was given a mandate by 11 crore people in Bihar in the 2015 assembly polls to rule for five years", Yadav told the media after landing at the Patna airport from Delhi.

He said "I am here to correct my mistake as I had joined Nitish Kumar for the Gandhi Smriti Yatra in Champaran in April this year, and he has joined hands with the RSS-BJP".

Asked whether his trip did not amount to "anti-party activity", Yadav, who is the leader of the party in the Upper House, said, "I do not want to make any comment". "In the 70 years of history, I can not find an example where two opposition parties have a common manifesto", he said.

He said the people's mandate was insulted due to break-up of grand alliance.

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Growing resentment in the party has become more obvious with the ruling JD (U) distancing itself from the Yadav's visit and dubbing it a personal initiative.

Last month, Yadav had openly voiced his dissent following Kumar's decision to form government with support from the BJP.

"The disintegration of Grand Alliance government in Bihar has broken the trust of 11 crore citizens of the state", Yadav said, pointing out the competing manifestoes that the Grand Alliance and the BJP-led NDAhad put during the 2015 polls. While no JD (U) leader was present, the local legislator, Ramanuj Prasad of Lalu Yadav's RJD was there. "Wish you all the success in your career", said Sharad Yadav. He added that he was still with the Mahagathbandan (Grand Alliance). Even on way to Muzaffarpur, he was received by Sonepur RJD MLA and other RJD leaders at different places.

Veteran socialist leader and nine-term Member of Parliament Sharad Yadav raised the hackles of his own party-men Wednesday, as he began his three-day road-show in Bihar. Sources said instructions have been issued to JD (U) functionaries not to participate in Sharad's yatra to avoid disciplinary action.

According to Sharad Yadav's loyalists, several party MLAs and MLCs are in touch with him. However, by continuing to remain in JD (U) and attack Kumar's decisions, Yadav risks losing the little political capital he has been left with in Bihar. "The party is now not concerned whether he is with us or not", Neeraj added.

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