After maintaining a sullen silence over the last five days, ever since Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar decided to join hands with the BJP in Bihar, JD(U) founder-president Sharad Yadav on Monday expressed anguish at the fall of “grand alliance” in the state. However, Yadav did not reveal his next course of action.While leaders close to Yadav indicated that he would address a meeting of Opposition parties in Delhi before the JD(U)’s national executive in Patna on August 19, party general secretary K C Tyagi said he was hopeful that “nobody will take any effort to damage the interests of the party or break it”.
Sources also said that the 20 state units of the JD(U), other than Bihar, will be writing a letter to Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav, expressing their dismay at the party joining hands with the BJP. Speaking to reporters outside Parliament and his residence in Delhi, Yadav said the situation in Bihar was “very unpleasant” for him and that the electoral agreement – JD(U), RJD and Congress — based on which votes are sought for 2015 assembly elections was the “sabse bada imaan (biggest commitment of all)”.
“The situation that has unfolded now is very unpleasant. Bihar’s 11-crore voters had given a mandate to the alliance based on the agreement amongst us. I am anguished at the fall of the alliance. The agreement reached with people at the time of elections is the biggest commitment of all. The alliance should not have broken. I am very sad about the fall of this alliance. I am talking to partymen. It is not proper to speak more than that now,” he said.
Yadav said that he, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Nitish had firmed up their alliance “with great effort and challenged the central government’s rule”.
Asked about Yadav’s remarks, JD(U) general secretary Tyagi said, “Sharadji being a democrat will not go against the decision of the majority of partymen, who have endorsed and will endorse Nitish Kumar’s decision to ally with the BJP under those circumstances.”
Sources close to Yadav maintained that he will attend the party’s national executive in Patna but will flag his reservations on the decision to ally with the BJP.“Efforts are also on to organise a conference on current issues, which will be attended by leaders of all political parties, including Sharad Yadav, around the second week of August. This will be before the JD(U)’s national executive meets in Patna,” said sources. On Sunday, Yadav attended a national convention titled “Save the Constitution and Build the Nation” organised by the All India Milli Council, sharing the dais with Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar.
The Nitish camp believes that Yadav may not go to the RJD, given the history of ego clashes between him and Lalu Prasad. They also feel that Yadav does not have much of an influence over the Bihar unit of JD(U), which is overwhelmingly with Nitish. But a leader close to Yadav said, “Nothing can be ruled out in politics.”