After SP and AIADMK, Now JD(U) Hurtles Towards Power Struggle
The Sharad Yadav faction has called a national convention in Delhi on August 17, two days before Nitish Kumar is scheduled to formally join forces with the BJP.
File photo of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav. (Getty Images)
New Delhi: Almost a week before the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) is to formally become part of the NDA, the Sharad Yadav-led faction says it has the support of 14 of 17 state presidents and has staked claim over the party.
According to a Sharad Yadav supporter, their faction has near unanimous support from senior leaders of the party, including a couple of its parliamentarians.
The Sharad Yadav faction has called a national convention in Delhi on August 17, two days before Nitish Kumar is scheduled to formally join forces with the BJP. Among the issues that are likely to be discussed at the national convention are the modalities regarding the JD(U)’s election symbol. More importantly, when and how to claim it.
"We spoke to all our state unit presidents to get their views on Nitish's idea of alliance with the BJP. Except three, everyone agreed that it was a bad idea," said senior JD(U) leader Arun Shrivastava, who was recently sacked as the party's general secretary by Nitish Kumar.
Shrivastava, a close aide of Yadav, said the question of the election symbol will be discussed in the August 17 national convention of the party and the question of “who the real JD(U) is” will be settled by the people who attend the meeting.
Shrivastava claimed that the dissent over Nitish Kumar's decision to join forces with the BJP was not being challenged by just a few people.
"Take, for instance, our party's Kerala unit president and Rajya Sabha MP Veerendra Kumar who expressed dissent on the question of allying with the BJP. (Another Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar also spoke against it). Then it was Maharashtra party president and MLC Kapil Patil, who publicly defied Nitish by first voting for Meira Kumar (in presidential elections) and then criticising the tie-up with the BJP," Shrivastava said.
He cited the example of the party's eight-time MLA from Gujarat, Chotubhai Vasava, whose vote in the recent Rajya Sabha elections in the state proved crucial for Ahmed Patel’s victory.
"He also made his position against the idea of allying with the BJP pretty clear. Questioning Nitish, Vasava said that when he'd spent all his life fighting the communal forces of the BJP, how could Nitish expect him to participate in his decision?"
According to the Yadav aide, except the units of Bihar, Jharkhand and Silvasa, all other party units had pledged their support to Sharad Yadav.
"Nitish should remember that he was a guest in our party. It was Sharad Yadav who built the party units across the country. Bihar se baahar unhone 13 din nahi bitayein hain pure jeevankaal mein (In his career, Nitish has not spent even 13 days outside Bihar)."
It is not long before the question of who actually runs the party will be decided. Members of both factions and observers will now be looking at shows of strength by the two leaders later this week.
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