Party replaces him with R.C.P Singh, a trusted lieutenant of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The Janata Dal (U) on Saturday removed senior member Sharad Yadav as leader of the party’s parliamentary group in the Rajya Sabha, and appointed R.C.P. Singh in his stead.
A letter to this effect was handed over to Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu by party MPs in the morning at his residence.
With this, Mr Yadav’s exit from the JD(U), a party he helped form, is almost certain, even though he has been invited to attend the party’s national executive meet on August 19.
Speaking to The Hindu, JD(U)’s Bihar unit chief and Rajya Sabha MP Bashishtha Narain Singh said the decision had followed a meeting of JD(U) MPs in New Delhi on Friday.
MPs meet Nitish
“Yesterday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was here and MPs met him both one-to-one and together. In those meetings they expressed concerns over the kind of statements being made by Sharad Yadav. When the party had decided to join the BJP and form a government with support from the party, then why was he opposing it,” Mr Singh said.
Mr Singh said thereafter the parliamentary party had met without Mr. Kumar.
“The parliamentary party decided that to stay in the party and to oppose its stand continuously only means that Sharadji has already chosen his path away from the party. That is why, the party cannot procrastinate any more on this matter as it will hurt the party, and decided that R.C.P. Singh would be the leader of parliamentary group in the Rajya Sabha. We have handed over the letter stating this to Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the chairman of the Rajya Sabha,” he said.
Blames RJD influence
Mr. Singh said Mr. Yadav’s opposition to the JD(U)’s tie up with the BJP seemed to be because of the seeming influence of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad.
“Sometimes it happens that an individual leader is surrounded by others who continuously invoke a putative aura on the basis of his past, and obscure the fact about where he stands now, what his position is, just to mislead him. I believe that a person like Sharadji should have thought before taking this decision, which seems to be coloured by some mistaken sense of the past,” he said.
Very specifically, the JD(U) leader accused the RJD of being the force behind Mr. Sharad Yadav’s mass contact programme currently underway in Bihar. “He (Sharad Yadav) said it was his personal yatra, but it was organised by the RJD and attended by its cadre. It proves that there is a relationship between Sharadji and the RJD, so I feel he is getting ready for a new political role, which is the reason why the JD(U) had to take this stance today,” he said.
Mr Singh described as “natural” the suggestion made by BJP chief Amit Shah to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to join the NDA nationally, and said the party will take a decision on this at its meeting on August 19.
“In Bihar we are running a government with the BJP, led by Nitish Kumar, so this question arises in a very natural sort of way. There are, of course, procedures through which this can be effected. The Janata Dal (U)’s national executive is to meet on August 19 and has to ratify this and it’s quite possible that a resolution to join NDA could be passed there,” he said.