Sachchidanand Jha

Patna: JD (U) president and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar on August 12, 2017, fired first salvo against¬† rebel Sharad Yadav, a former party president, by removing him from the post of leader of ten – member JD (U) group in the Rajya Sabha. RCP Sinha, a former IAS officer, has been made new leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha. Sharad’s suspension from the party also appears imminent. In all likelihood, he will be suspended from the party at its national executive meeting scheduled for August 19 at Patna or may be even before that.

Sharad, who is on a four-day visit to the Bihar, is strongly opposed to Nitish’s decision to form government with the help of the NDA on July 27, 2017, after resigning as the chief minister of Grand Alliance comprising JD(U), RJD and Congress on July 26. On August 10, Sharad had claimed at Sonepur in Saran district that he represents the real JD(U) and had branded the party led by Nitish as `Sarkari Janata Dal’.

Nitish had on August 11 said in Delhi that those unhappy with his decision were free to leave the party. He had also clearly said that the JD(U) would join the NDA government at the centre soon and had also met PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah separately on August 11. Shah on August 12 invited the JD (U) to return to the NDA fold. The JD (U) leaders have charged Sharad with nurturing ambition to head the RJD.

But, RJD chief Lalu Prasad will never jeopardise the political career of his two sons: Tejaswi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, both former ministers, and daughter Dr Misa Yadav, a Rajya Sabha member.

Sharad will have to explain to the people why did not oppose the JD(U)’s allince with the BJP from 1996 to 2013 and being a constituent of the NDA. He did not say anything when Nitish supported NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential poll besides supporting demonetisation in November 2016 and demanding action against benaami property holders.

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