The JD(U) today said rebel leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar should have resigned from Rajya Sabha if they had “even an iota of morality” and described as “historic” Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s decision to disqualify them. The party also launched a sharp attack on Yadav, claiming that he, as the then JD(U) chief, “incited” Jitan Ram Manjhi against Nitish Kumar, who had backed the ‘Mahadalit’ leader’s appointment as Bihar chief minister following the party’s rout in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Manjhi had rebelled against Kumar after the JD(U) decided to bring the latter back to the top post. JD(U) general secretary Sanjay Jha alleged that Yadav worked to “destabilise” Kumar and cited his joining hands with the Congress in opposing surgical strikes and demonetisation even when Kumar, who is also the party president, supported the steps.
“If Yadav differed with Kumar on the decision to join hands with the BJP, he should have resigned from the Rajya Sabha as all MLAs, who elected him to the Upper House, backed the Bihar chief minister. No MLA, MLC or even a district president stood with Yadav,” he said. Targeting Anwar, Jha said he will be cited as an “example of thanklessness” in political history as Kumar picked him “from nowhere and sent him to the Rajya Sabha”. On both occasions, Anwar won with the support of BJP MLAs, he said. “Anwar’s term was about to end in a few months and still he did not resign. If both these leaders had even an iota of morality left, they should have resigned,” he said in a statement.
Jha referred to BJP leader Mukul Roy who resigned from the Rajya Sabha after quitting the Trinamool Congress and later joined the saffron party. “The decision of the Rajya Sabha chairman to disqualify them is historic,” he said. The Election Commission too had delivered an order saying that it was Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar whose group represented the JD(U) and not the Yadav faction, he said. Both Yadav and Anwar owe their political stature and presence in Parliament to Kumar, he claimed. “It is Kumar who helped Yadav become the JD(U) chief as its founder president George Fernandes did not want him to take over from him,” he said, hitting back at Yadav for attacking the Bihar chief minister.
Yadav had yesterday said that the decision to disqualify him was part of a “conspiracy” as the BJP did not like his work to unite opposition parties against the NDA government. Naidu had on December 4 disqualified Yadav and Anwar from Rajya Sabha on a plea that was filed in September. The Left parties and Aam Aadmi Party have questioned Naidu’s decision. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury questioned what he called the “mind-boggling” speed with which the plea was decided by Naidu. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal condemned Yadav’s disqualification, terming it as “illegal” and “political vendetta”.