Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (not United): What Sharad Yadav aims to achieve?

By: | Published: August 10, 2017 7:36 PM

The latest entry on the list is of JD (U)'s Sharad Yadav who still hasn't left the party but announced his revolt against his party president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar.

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Kapil Mishra, Shankersinh Vaghela and Sharad Yadav: What is common between these three political leaders? First, at some stage, they all went rogue against their own party leadership. Kapil Mishra took on Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, a couple of months ago in a sensational series of events, where he not only alleged the AAP supremo of taking money from another senior party leader Satyendar Jain but also presented some proofs about it. Vaghela, on the other hand, switched from Congress to BJP ahead of the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls, only to lose to Ahmed Patel.

The latest entry on the list is of JD (U)’s Sharad Yadav who still hasn’t left the party but announced his revolt against his party president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. Yadav started a three-day ‘Jan Samvad’ programme on Thursday, aiming to connect with people in 10 districts of Bihar and apparently laying the foundation for a formal split in JD(U). 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).

Before starting his campaign, Yadav had said the Grand Alliance was forged for five years and trust of 11 crore people was broken by Kumar, according to a report by The Indian Express.

This brings us to the second similarity between the leaders: INTENT! Yes, the intent of these three leaders, who held important positions in their respective parties, was questioned. It was alleged that Mishra started his anti-Kejriwal campaign after joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party, while Ashok Gehlot, the Congress Gujarat in-charge alleged Vaghela was under pressure to harm Congress due to threats of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate raids in connection with the selling of a prime Mumbai land in 2004. An allegation that was later denied by Vaghela.

Even though nothing is clear about Sharad Yadav’s main objective, questions are being raised on his intent and what he wants to achieve. And, why is he going against Nitish Kumar, the man he supported for so long?

While it is clear that Yadav is unhappy Kumar and his diminished profile in the party. Yadav has been in the Rajya Sabha for many years, once the convenor of NDA during Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime. He has not yet formally left the JD(U), or floated his own outfit. One option for his is to join the other Yadav, Lalu, and strengthen the latter’s campaign against BJP and Kumar. It is likely that Sharad may end up getting expelled from JD(U).

Given Nitish Kumar’s standing as a popular leader in Bihar,Yadav doesn’t look like a challenger to the Bihar CM at present. If he floats a new party or join Lalu, he may be able to save the so-called “secular” image he has carved for himself in the last three years in Upper House. However, by continuing to remain in JD(U) and attack Kumar’s decisions, Yadav risks losing the little political capital he has been left with in Bihar.

JD (U) is yet to make the picture clear too. When party chief Bashishta Narain Singh was approached by The Indian Express to talk about the matter, he said it’s a personal visit and the party doesn’t have anything to do with it.

Kapil Mishra had his fair share of fame before fading away with time, while Shankersinh Vaghela made headlines before BJP failed to beat Ahmed Patel in Gujarat. It will be interesting to see whether Sharad Yadav can go beyond the headlines in a Janata Dal (not United).

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