NEW DELHI: It’s split wide open in the JD(U) with rebel Sharad Yadav preparing for a show of strength to challenge Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. Having lost the battle for the party’s poll symbol arrow at the Election Commission, Sharad has planned a meeting of the national executive on September 17, followed by a bigger national council meet on October 8, which will show which way the wind is blowing. Both sides claim they enjoy the support of majority party leaders, including legislators and parliamentarians.
The September 17 meet will name a new working president, who will order fresh party polls within six months. The decision of the national executive will be endorsed in the national council on October 8.
Sharad, who is in no mood to give up his fight with Nitish after the latter joined hands with the BJP, will also approach the courts against the Election Commission order on the poll symbol.
Sharad is preparing a reply to the notice sent to him by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu after the Nitish camp urged the Rajya Sabha chairman to remove him as the leader of the JD(U) in the Upper House of Parliament as he had attended the August 27 Patna rally of rival RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
Political observers say Sharad is trying to buy time by taking the poll symbol issue to the courts till next year when the frenzy of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will start. By then, the time will be ripe for him to float his own outfit.
“We have a strong case and are moving as per the party constitution,” said a senior leader in the Sharad Yadav camp. The Nitish camp is also playing its cards carefully as the incumbent JD(U) chief has still not expelled Sharad from the party. “Sharad Yadav is a senior leader, so we thought it may not be proper to expel him,” said a senior JD(U) leader.
His Next Move
After losing the battle for the party’s poll symbol arrow, Sharad has planned a meeting of the national executive and a bigger national council meet on October 8, which will show which way the wind is blowing