Senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav is set to present his faction as the “real” party, claiming that many State units are with him while support for party president Nitish Kumar is confined to Bihar.The Yadav-led faction, which includes two Rajya Sabha MPs and some national office-bearers, has armed itself with letters of support from 14 State unit presidents, Arun Shrivastava, a close aide of Mr. Yadav said. To counter Mr. Kumar’s assertion that the JD(U) was recognised only in Bihar, debunking claims of support from other State units, Mr. Shrivastava claimed the party always had a national footprint. He said Mr. Yadav had led the party before Mr. Kumar had merged his Samata Party with it. “We will not leave the party. Nitish Kumar himself says that the party does not exist outside Bihar. Then he should form a new party for Bihar. He should not try to capture the JD(U) which always had a national presence,” Mr. Sharad Yadav said. The ‘Janata Parivar’, a reference to various parties with socialist ethos, has a history of mergers and splits. Mr. Yadav enjoys little support from the party’s MPs, who are overwhelmingly from Bihar, but believes that he can make a fight of his claim over the party and cause a split. Several splits The original Janata Dal had seen several such splits in the past. Two Rajya Sabha members, Ali Anwar Ansari and M.P. Veerendra Kumar, are seen to be with Mr. Yadav in his fight against Mr. Kumar. The JD(U) has removed Mr. Yadav as the leader of its parliamentary party in the Rajya Sabha. It has also made light of his claims of having the real JD(U) with him, saying that it is RJD workers and supporters who have greeted him during his tour in Bihar while its workers have kept away. During his visit to the national capita on Friday, Kumar had virtually shut the door on any reconciliation with Yadav, saying he is free to take any decision as the alliance with the BJP had the entire party’s nod. “He (Yadav) is free to take his decision. As far as the party is concerned, it has already taken its decision. The decision was not mine alone and it was taken with the consent of the party. If he keeps a different opinion, then he is free to do so,” Nitish had told reporters.
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