PATNA: JD(U) veteran and former party chief Sharad Yadav on Thursday began his three-day ‘Jan Samvad Yatra’ in Bihar to mobilise public support against JD(U) national president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to break away with the grand alliance and form a government with BJP.
The 70-year-old Yadav, currently a sitting MP of JD(U) in Rajya Sabha, reached Patna amid a rousing welcome by hundreds of his supporters--both JD(U) and RJD workers. He then left for Hajipur, where he addressed a public meeting and spoke against Nitish Kumar’s decision to dump grand alliance partners RJD and Congress. The veteran socialist leader would visit seven districts in Bihar during his three-day tour.
JD(U) leaders, alarmed by Yadav’s open defiance of Nitish Kumar, termed his statements as “anti-party activities” and hinted that disciplinary action against him, possibly his expulsion from the party, is being contemplated by the party’s core group.
“The agreement with the people of Bihar, who had supported the grand alliance, was one of conscience,” said Yadav after reaching Patna. “Both the parties (BJP and JD-U) had contested against each other and had different manifestos. But the two parties formed the government midway. Never before in the past 70 years has there been such a huge crisis of trust in democracy,” he added.
“I am still with the grand alliance. I am going to the people to know their views up close,” said Yadav in comments that rattled JD(U) leaders who had earlier described the socialist leader’s three-day Bihar tour as his personal initiative.
JD(U)’s Muzaffarpur district president Hariom Kushwaha on Thursday recommended the expulsion of senior leader and former minister Ramai Ram from the party. Ram was seen with Yadav at Patna airport and went with him to Hajipur, where Yadav held a public meeting.
“I have written to our Bihar chief Vashistha Narayan Singh to expel Ramai Ram from the party for anti-party activities. What Sharad Yadav is doing is against the party. Action is certainly going to be taken for such activities,” said Kushwaha. Sources said the JD(U) leadership could announce disciplinary action against Yadav on August 12.
Meanwhile, Arun Srivastava, a senior JD(U) leader and close aide of Sharad who was expelled from party during the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls, attacked Nitish Kumar on Thursday. “People like Sharad and I formed the party and worked tirelessly for it in the past twenty years. These people (Nitish Kumar and his group) have no contribution for the party,” he said.
“Sharad is still under a misconception. He has indicated that he is willing to side with tainted politicians like Lalu Yadav, Tejaswi and Misa Bharti, who are centres of property collection. Congratulations to his boarding a sinking boat,” said JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar.
At Hajipur, Sharad escaped unhurt when the dais on which he stood while was addressing a large gathering collapsed.