Sharad Yadav takes the people's route to defy Nitish Kumar

Rajya Sabha elections today a game changer for Gujarat politics

Ahmed Patel Amit Shah Smriti Irani and Balwantsinh Rajput

When Sharad lost the last LS poll three years back, he was JD (U) national president and, therefore, Nitish accommodated him in Rajya Sabha to salvage his image, given his seniority and respectability within the party. From there, he would go to Hajipur and stop at Muzaffarpur during the night.

The JD-U has distanced itself from Sharad Yadav's tour, with its state chief Vashisht Narain Singh calling it a "personal initiative".

Only one JD (U) leader from the state, former Bochahan MLA Ramai Ram, was among those who joined Yadav, following which reports emerged of several JD (U) leaders who support Kumar calling for action against Ram. "Sharad Yadav has constantly been questioning Nitish Kumar's decision, but hasn't once commented on the investigation against Lalu Yadav's son Tejashwi", Tyagi said, warning, "If he crosses the line, it will be unfortunate".

Yadav's statement comes at a time when speculation is gaining that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar may remove him for "indulging in anti-party activities". Both are in close touch with Sharad Yadav in Delhi.

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It is speculated that the party will make its stand on Yadav official only when its National Executive meets in Patna on 19 August.

"The agreement of "gathbandhan" (grand alliance) was for five years which was broken..."

The JD (U) co-founder termed the party's realignment with the NDA a "historic blunder".

Asked about the presence of RJD workers in his tour programme, Yadav justified it saying they are part of the "Gatbandhan" of which he is a part.

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Sharad, who is touring Sonepur and will visit Muzaffarpur and Sitamarhi in the next couple of days, would escape any disciplinary action till he does not attack Nitish personally. "The party is now not concerned whether he is with us or not", Neeraj added.

"Where Nitish Kumar have gone if not for the NDA?"

With Yadav making it clear that he is charting a different path, JD (U) leaders maintained restraint in using harsh words against him but expressed their displeasure particularly over his company with RJD.

Yadav also drew wrath of senior BJP leader and deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi for questioning new coalition and "supporting corruption of RJD". But a suspension from the party will mean that Sharad Yadav will be disqualified if he does not follow formal party orders or whips to support the BJP-led government in Parliament. Nitish also showing his disapproval on Sharad'smoves expelled Arun Srivastava, who is considered close to Sharad, from the post of party's general secretary on the grounds of him voting for Congress candidate during Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls.

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