PATNA: On a day the party decided to join the NDA, rival groups of the Janata Dal-United were on the war path on Saturday with the faction headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar virtually putting Sharad Yadav on notice, daring him to split the party and face action.
On its part, the JD-U faction led by Yadav announced that it will approach the Election Commission to stake claim to the party symbol 'arrow'.
On a day of hectic activity, the national executive of the JD-U met at the Chief Minister's residence in which Kumar challenged Yadav to spilt the party.
"Let Sharad Yadav split the party. For splitting the party there is need of support from two-third leaders. If he has the majority he should prove it," he said.
The Chief Minister said that Sharad Yadav was free to do whatever he wanted. "But he will not be able to do anything. It is for all to see. All 71 MLAs and 30 MLCs along with two Lok Sabha MPs are with us," he said.
He reminded Yadav that he was elected to the Rajya Sabha with the support and vote of the BJP.
Briefing reporters, JD-U Spokesman K.C. Tyagi said that the party has not acted against Yadav for his "anti-party activities" because of his seniority and long association with the party.
"But, if he attends RJD chief Lalu Prasad's rally here on August 27, then he will cross the Lakshman Rekha," he said, hinting at action against Yadav.
Tyagi said that Yadav has left the party "on his own" and is "no longer with us, emotionally or physically".
He accused Yadav of indulging in anti-party activities by holding separate meetings with his own supporters and RJD members.
He claimed Yadav has "always taken a stand against Nitish - whether it is on demonetisation, surgical strikes and women's reservation. He always took a different stand and went to the extremes".
Claiming that there was no split in the party, Tyagi said the heads of 16 state committees were with Nitish Kumar, contrary to claims made by the rival group.
He said in Bihar all 71 party MLAs, 30 MLCs and two Lok Sabha MPs and most of the Rajya Sabha MPs were with the Nitish Kumar-led JD-U, except Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar.
Meanwhile, the rebel JD-U faction said that it will approach the Election Commission to stake claim over the party symbol 'arrow'.
"We will soon knock on the door of the Election Commission to stake claim over the party symbol 'arrow' and inform (people) that the real party is with him (Sharad), not with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar," senior JD-U leader Arun Srivastav, who is considered close to Sharad Yadav, said.
"The real JD-U belongs to Sharad Yadav and party units in different states across India are with him," Srivastav said.
"It is Sharad Yadav who formed the JD-U, not Nitish Kumar," said Srivastav, who was last week removed as the party's General Secretary by JD-U president Nitish Kumar.
The Sharad Yadav-led JD-U held its "Jan Adalat" meeting at S.K. Memorial near the historic Gandhi Maidan.
According to former JD-U minister Ramai Ram, a Sharad Yadav supporter, his meeting is open for all.
Sharad Yadav is also likely to announce his decision to attend Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad's "Desh Bachao BJP Bhagao" rally here on August 27.
The JD-U national executive passed a resolution to become part of the National Democratic Alliance led by the BJP.
"A resolution that the JD-U will join the BJP-led NDA was unanimously approved in the meeting. Now we have become part of NDA," Tyagi said.