On 26th July, Bihar CM and JD(U) President Nitish Kumar shocked Lalu’s RJD and the Congress party by walking out of the Mahagathbandhan and announcing that his party would be forming the government with the help of estranged alliance partner BJP.
This was met with a lot of hostility by Lalu and the Congress, who cried betrayal, even though they had welcomed Nitish breaking his alliance with BJP in 2013. However, soon it became clear that the opposition to this political manoeuvre was both external and internal to JD(U).
On the morning of 27th, the first voices of dissent in the form of Bihar JD(U) MP Anwar Ali were heard. Ali was quoted as saying that his conscience does not allow him to support Nitish Kumar’s alliance with the BJP. Later in the day it was reported that former party chief Sharad Yadav had a meeting with Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. Yadav, who had said precariously little about Nitish’s move, finally broke his silence a few days later by openly calling the decision ‘unfortunate’ and further stating that he did not agree with it.
People might have speculated that such disagreements within the party would be soon taken care of, but now it seems that the situation had actually worsened as the days have gone by.
Yesterday we had reported how Sharad Yadav had openly supported the Congress while it was peddling its “biggest scam of the century” theory, which was later busted in minutes by alert Twitter users. But incidents later in the day have now given a glimpse into the true power tussle that might be going on inside the JD(U).
The Rajya Sabha election that saw Ahmed Patel retaining his seat by scraping through had a glimpse of internal fight of JD(U). It was reported that Chhotubhai Vasava, who is the JD(U) MLA from Gujarat, had openly admitted on live TV to have voted for Ahmed Patel even though the JD(U) had issued a whip to the contrary.
It was later reported that as a result of the Gujarat fiasco, the JD(U) sacked its General Secretary Arun Shrivastav, who is considered close to Sharad Yadav not just for anti-party activities and breach of discipline, but also for treachery. Shrivastava supposedly had written to the Returning Officer of the Gujarat Assembly for appointing an election agent even though Nitish Kumar written to the same officer to only authorise party leader KC Tyagi to make such an appointment.
Things have refused to die down in this Rajya Sabha saga as Sharad Yadav has now, apart from congratulating Ahmed Patel, also backed Chhotubhai Vasava who voted for him. The report also claimed that Yadav is considering launching his own party and is going to call a meeting of like minded people on August 17 to ascertain his future course of action.
If all this drama wasn’t enough, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav is now trying to insert himself into the scheme of things by alleging that Nitish Kumar has planned an attack on Sharad Yadav. Or did he spill the beans about an attack that might be carried out to generate sympathy?
It remains to be seen whether Janta Dal ‘United’ actually manages to stay united in the coming days.