Sachchidanand Jha

Patna : JD(U) national president and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on August 19, 2017, said that former party president and rebel leader Sharad Yadav was free to take his decision. Nitish claimed that straying away of a few party leaders would not impact the party and dared Sharad loyalists, who claimed that they represent the original JD(U), to break the party.

Nitish challenged the dissidents to break the JD(U) legislature party and also prove two-third majority within the party if they really command the strength or loose their membership. Replying to Sharad Yadav’s strong opposition to his decision to form government with the help of the NDA, Nitish quipped, “Why did Sharad not speak up in 2013 when the party broke away from the NDA? You were the president of the party at that time.”

Nitish was addressing an open session after the JD(U) national council and national executive meets. Nitish, in a veiled attack on Sharad,  said, “Only one thing is being run jointly now-a-days — promoting family interests in politics.” There are unconfirmed reports that Sharad Yadav wants to field his son from Madhepura parliamentary constituency in North Bihar in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with the help of the RJD. Sixteen of the 20 state unit chiefs of the party, all the 71 party MLAs and 30 MLCs of Bihar and the office-bearers of various committees were siding with him, Nitish claimed.

Nitish also lashed out at suspended JD(U) Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar Ansari, who is with Sharad Yadav, and wondered why he did not speak up when he was sent to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 with the BJP help. Nitish justified his decision to join hands with the BJP and refuted the charge that it was an insult to the mandate given by the people in 2015 Bihar assembly polls. He said the mandate was for serving the people of Bihar not for enriching aparticular family. The mandate was to work for the people of Bihar not to carry the load of sins of such people, Nitish said in an apparent reference to RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

Nitish claimed that it was due to the votes of the JD(U) that the RJD became the largest party in Bihar. But since the RJD’s votes were not transferred in adequate numbers to the JD(U) some of the JD(U) candidates lost in the 2015 state assembly polls, he claimed. He reminded Lalu of  the fate of the RJD in 2010 Bihar assembly polls when it had won only 22 seats that too when LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan was with Lalu. Whosoever the JD(U) sides with wins, Nitish said.

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