Heading for a showdown with party chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with his three-day “Jan Samvad”, or mass contact programme in 10 districts of Bihar, JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Yadav on Wednesday said that he will interact with the people to “seek a way out”. “In a way,” he said, “the trust of people has broken” after the Grand Alliance — comprising RJD, JD(U) and Congress — was undone in Bihar, and Nitish teamed up with the BJP to head an NDA government.
Stating that the Grand Alliance was “a kind of an agreement with people” of Bihar, Yadav, Nitish’s predecessor as party president, said, “If the alliance has broken, the trust of people has also broken. I am going among the people to talk with them on this…. I will seek a way out — the way out will emerge only from there.” About Yadav’s Bihar programme, state JD(U) chief Bashishta Narain Singh told The Indian Express, “It’s a personal visit. The party has nothing to do with it…. His (Yadav’s) recent activities are against the stated stand of the JD(U).”
On Nitish Kumar’s decision to break away from the Grand Alliance and join the NDA, Singh said, “JD(U)’s extended legislature party meeting, attended not only by MLAs and MLCs but also district presidents and office-bearers, had authorised Nitish Kumar to take a decision keeping in view larger interests of the party and the state.” Sources close to Yadav said he is in no mood to join the NDA, or accept any ministerial berth. He is ready to also face the eventuality of being suspended by the party, the sources said.
JD(U) unit presidents from at least 14 states are learnt to have written to Nitish over July 30 and 31, raising questions over the manner in which he announced the decision to “break the alliance based on secularism”. They also demanded a party national executive to be held in Delhi to enable a “collective decision”. Copies of the letters have been submitted to Sharad Yadav, too, it is learnt. Among those who wrote is JD(U)’s Gujarat president Chhotubhai Vasava, who on Tuesday defied Nitish’s order to vote for BJP in Rajya Sabha election — leaders close to Nitish Kumar Wednesday said Vasava was Tuesday heard saying in Gandhinagar that Sharad Yadav had asked him to vote for Congress’s Ahmed Patel.
These leaders also pointed out that all party units outside Bihar have little say — Vasava is the only JD(U) MLA in another state, Kapil Patil (Maharashtra) is the lone party MLC outside Bihar, and Veerendra Kumar (Kerala) is the only party MP who does not belong to Bihar. While all three have opposed Nitish’s decision, the Nitish Kumar camp says JD(U) is a party based mainly in Bihar, and almost the entire lot of leaders there are with them.