PATNA: As expected, the Nitish Kumar faction of the JD(U) formally became part of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) on Saturday with the party unanimously adopting a resolution to that effect at its national executive here.
The JD(U) national executive met at the residence of chief minister Nitish Kumar while a parallel convention was held by JD(U) rebels led by Sharad Yadav at an auditorium in Patna. Yadav and several rebel leaders attended the convention amid rumblings of a virtual split in the party.
“The JD(U) is a part of the NDA from today,” the party’s national general secretary and Nitish Kumar loyalist K C Tyagi said after the meeting. He went on to rubbish the rebel camp’s claim that it has the support of 14 state units of the party who, according to the Sharad Yadav faction, are opposed to Kumar’s decision to form a government in alliance with the BJP.
Tyagi said all wings of the party in Bihar and the state units “fully support” the decision to sever the alliance with the RJD and the Congress and join the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.
“All 16 state units of the party, except the Kerala unit are with Nitish Kumar. All 71 MLAs of the party in Bihar and the 30 MLCs are with Nitish Kumar. There is absolutely no split in the party,” said Tyagi.
He said Kumar telephoned Yadav to invite him to the national executive meeting “but yet he (Yadav) decided to hold his parallel convention in Patna the same day. It is unfortunate.
“He is a very senior leader with a long association with the Socialist ideology. It is unfortunate that he is being seen with the RJD, which symbolises corruption. We have no hatred for Sharad Yadav nor did we object to his ‘Sanjhi Virasat’ programme in Delhi.”
Delivering a sting, Tyagi added, “Considering his seniority and long association with the party, we have not taken any stern action against him so far. If he attends the RJD’s rally on August 27, that will be crossing the Laxman Rekha.”
Tyagi rubbished the parallel ‘Jan Adalat’ convention addressed by Yadav and the JD(U)’s suspended Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar at SK Memorial Hall saying, “It was not a JD(U) convention because slogans condemning Nitish Kumar and hailing Lalu Prasad Yadav were chanted by their supporters.”
While the JD(U) national executive meeting was going on at Kumar’s official residence, dozens of RJD supporters had a minor clash with JD(U) supporters outside. Police intervened and controlled the situation.
The JD(U) has returned to the NDA after four years. Kumar had walked out of the alliance in 2013, ending a 17-year-old partnership with the BJP in protest against Narendra Modi’s elevation as chief of the BJP’s campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.