NEW DELHI: After NCP chief Sharad Pawar, it was JD(U) president Sharad Yadav’s turn to gather together almost the entire spectrum of Indian politics for his book release on Monday. Only PM Modi and RJD chief Lalu Yadav, present at the Pawar event, were not at Yadav’s.
In fact, when Sharad Yadav — Sangharsh ke Senani, Sarvajanik, Rajnkiya aur Vyaktigat Jeevan ka Safarnama (Sharad Yadav, a Public, Political, Personal Life) was released by Vice-President Hamid Ansari on a small make-shift stage erected on the lawns of his Tuglaq Lane residence, there was hardly any space. The acrimony in Parliament was hardly felt as leaders from the right, left and centre stood next to one another holding up the book, beaming to the cameras, with Sufi music playing in the background.
From Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, former PM Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to Delhi CM Kejriwal, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, CPM’s Sitaram Yechury, CPI leader D Raja and TMC’s Derek O’Brien, several shared the stage, though none spoke. At one point, there was a fear JD(U) MP and spokesperson KC Tyagi — the master of ceremony — would fall off the stage.
Surprisingly, JD(U)’s closest ally RJD had a low-key presence, represented only by its young spokesperson Manoj Jha, even as the Congress was there in full force. Sonia not only attended the function but also stayed back to have roti and sarson ka saag in the company of Yadav’s wife Rekha, daughter Shubashini and Rajya Sabha MP Anu Agha.
Meanwhile Mulayam preferred to be with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who arrived a tad late but lingered over lunch. This was before BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha was seen giving Nitish Kumar a warm hug. Even Kejriwal appeared less aggressive.