JD(U) rift wide open: Sharad Yadav says he is still with Mahagathbandhan

Opposition charts strategy for session break

The political storm in Bihar after Nitish Kumar's decision to break alliance with RJD and join hands with BJP on Thursday appeared moving towards JD (U) separation from its senior leader Sharad Yadav.

Yadav has openly criticised Nitish Kumar's move as betrayal of 11 crore people and of the mandate given to the "mahagathbandhan" (grand alliance). To the surprise of many, Yadav even claimed that the grand alliance, which was destroyed by Kumar, is still alive and there are two parties within JD (U). Sharad Yadav who had been representing Nitish in all opposition's formal and informal meetings also felt betrayed by Nitish. "Of the two leaders Ramai Ram and Ram Badan Rai, who were present there, one lost the 2015 Assembly polls, while the other has no connection with the JD (U)", said Neeraj.

"I will visit eight to nine districts during my yatra to take feedback from people. And they are with me", Yadav said, while addressing the gathering in Sonepur, his first stop of the three-day tour.

Rift in JD (U) has been evident ever since Nitish Kumar announced breaking up of mahagathbandhan and joining BJP to form new government in Bihar.

Sharad Yadav has kickstarted his three-day Jan Samvad Yatra today and will meet the people of Bihar to discuss the repercussions of the withdrawal of the grand alliance in the state. RJD supporters in large number along with some JD (U) workers accorded reception to Yadav at Ramashish Chowk, Anjanpeer chowk in Hajipur in Vaishali district.

Tyagi said that "the path that Sharad Yadav has chosen leads to the RJD" adding that Yadav was yet to comment on the corruption cases against RJD chief Lalu Yadav and his family.

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JD-U leaders started targeting Yadav since last week after he spoke out against Nitish Kumar's decision to embrace the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is likely that Sharad may end up getting expelled from JD (U).

Signalling a clear sign of split within the party, Yadav said the JD (U) which is part of the Bihar government is 'sarkaari' (official), whereas the real Janata Dal is on the ground supporting him.

"I would just like to say that I still stand with the mandate and am going to meet a few friends from the Janata Dal", he added.

According to Sharad Yadav's loyalists, several party MLAs and MLCs are in touch with him.

Insiders told this newspaper that JD (U) national president Nitish Kumar may take disciplinary action against Mr. Yadav during the national executive meeting scheduled to be held on August 19.

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