Senior leader Sharad Yadav miffed, rushes to meet Rahul.
New Delhi: Differences surfaced in the JD(U), a day after the Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar crossed over to the saffron camp by dumping his allies — Congress and RJD. A miffed Sharad Yadav, a senior JD(U) leader, rushed to meet Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to discuss the “Nitish betrayal” and “the road ahead”.
While Mr Yadav met Mr Gandhi on Thursday morning, Union finance minister Mr Arun Jaitley met him at the Parliament and again discussed the matter with him in the evening. The BJP, which has successfully decimated the grand alliance in Bihar intends to keep all the senior JD(U) Yadav leaders “away from Lalu Yadav”, sources said.
Speculation is rife that the BJP could offer him a ministerial berth in the Union Cabinet or an equally “important or coveted post”.
Sharad Yadav, who has been against Mr Kumar joning hands with the BJP held a meeting with two party MPs — Ali Anwar and Veerendra Kumar this evening. Making it clear that he was against the move, Mr Anwar said; “Nitish Kumar heard the voice of his conscience before taking the decision. However, my conscience does not allow me to support it.” Mr Veerendra Kumar had already already indicated that he would quit JD(U). It is believed that he could join hands with the LDF in Kerala. The Congress-RJD is trying to keep Mr Yadav in their camp to consolidate the Yadav votebank in the state.
With the JD(U) switching over to the BJP, the vice-presidential race tilts even more heavily towards NDA. Victory for NDA candidate M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was anyway surging ahead of the Opposition nominee Gopal Krishna Gandhi, is now virtually confirmed. JD(U) national secretary, K.C. Tyagi made it clear that the party would support BJP and NDA both in Parliament and at the Centre.
Meanwhile, Mr Gandhi revealed outside Parliament that he got to know of Mr Kumar’s gameplan to switch sides nearly “three months ago”. Without specifying what he did with that information, Mr Gandhi said, “He (Nitish) had joined hands with us in the anti-communal fight, but for his personal politics he has now joined hands with those against whom he had fought. In politics you come to know what is going on in the minds of people.”
As Mr Gandhi moves from one failure to other, resentment is raging against him in the Bihar state unit, sources said. Reports emerging from Bihar indicated that the state functionaries were yet again accusing Mr Gandhi of “arrogance” and upset with his “refusal to listen to any counsel”.
A Congress leader from Bihar revealed that one of the party’s senior leaders Ashok Choudhary, was kept waiting for three days before Mr Gandhi made the time to see him in Delhi earlier this week.