PATNA: With JD(U) veteran Sharad Yadav having openly revolted against party national president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the party faces the risk of a split. This will make it harder for Kumar to retain his hold on the party and the government.
Yadav, whose ongoing anti-Nitish tour of Bihar led to his sacking as JD(U)’s leader in Rajya Sabha, looks determined to continue his campaign. Kumar also ordered the suspension of Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar from the party for siding with Sharad.
RCP Singh, a JD(U) Rajya Sabha member and close Nitish aide, was appointed the party’s leader in the Upper House. He and another Nitish loyalist, JD(U) general secretary and RS member KC Tyagi, may become ministers in the Central Cabinet.
“It was Kumar’s unwillingness to nominate Yadav as a minister in the Central Cabinet that prompted the veteran to revolt,” said a JD(U) leader.
Sharad’s claim during his three-day ‘Jan Samvad Yatra’ in eight districts of Bihar that he represents the “original JD(U)” and that Kumar’s is the “sarkari JD(U)” sparked fears of a split. Sharad’s confidant Arun Srivastava, who was sacked by Nitish as JD(U) general secretary due to his role in Rajya Sabha polls in Gujarat, claimed that nearly 20 JD(U) legislators are with Sharad.
While JD(U) has 11 Yadav MLAs and five Muslim MLAs, it is unlikely that they will side with Sharad any time soon.
“There is absolutely no support for Sharad among JD(U) legislators. His claims are all hollow and laughable. He is fighting a battle for his own political survival,” said JD(U) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar.
JD(U)’s upcoming national executive meeting, scheduled in Patna on August 19, is expected to ensure the party reposes complete faith in Kumar’s leadership. But Sharad’s revolt could dent the party’s strength.