Split Wide Open: Sharad Yadav Removed As JD-U Leader In Rajya Sabha

Split Wide Open: Sharad Yadav Removed As JD-U Leader In Rajya Sabha

Sharad Yadav, who has openly disapproved of Nitish Kumar's alliance with the BJP in Bihar, was today removed as the leader of Janata Dal (United) in Rajya Sabha. The move comes a day after Bihar Chief Minister said that Mr Yadav "is free to go where he wants".

"The party has made a decision. He (Sharad Yadav) should accept it," the Chief Minister said on Friday. Mr Yadav was yesterday warned by the JD-U to watch his language after he slammed Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government.

Slamming Nitish Kumar, Mr Yadav on Thursday said, the Chief Minister runs a "sarkari" version of his party while the real JD-U is to be found in the masses. He alleged that Mr Yadav betrayed the mandate of the people of Bihar, who, in 2015, voted for the Mahagathbandhan or "Grand Alliance". He has since issued daily recriminations.

The JD-U's KC Tyagi hit back saying, "The political language being used by him is very objectionable and uncomfortable for the party president (Nitish Kumar) and the government (of Bihar). We will ask him to refrain from making statement which crosses limits."

Nitish junked Grand Alliance - his allies Congress and Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal - blaming a corruption case against Lalu Yadav and his son, Tejashwi, who was Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar. "The atmosphere had become such that it was impossible to work," Mr Kumar said, adding "my conscience told me to quit."

Mr Yadav's removal as the party leader in the Upper House will relegate him to the back benches after years of being seated in the front row with top leaders of other parties. As leader of the JD-U, he had the privilege of often speaking out of turn in the House and raising issues. Now, he will have to request that he be apportioned time to speak.

Sharad Yadav has declared that he remains committed to a front of 17 parties that are trying to work together to fight the BJP in parliament and to prevent PM Narendra Modi's re-election in 2019.

His party, however, after switching sides took tough stand and suspended lawmaker Ali Anwar Ansari from the party for attending a meeting of opposition parties yesterday convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.