Rebel JD(U) leaders to call a national meet, stake claim

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New Delhi, Aug 22 (PTI): Rebel JD(U) leaders led by Sharad Yadav will call a “national council” meeting and approach the Election Commission to stake claim as the “real” party, Arun Shrivastava, a close aide of Yadav, said on Tuesday. His announcement came days after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led faction called a national council meeting of the party, which was attended by all MLAs as well as all but three members of Parliament, in Patna. It endorsed Kumar’s decision to ally with the BJP and accepted the invitation to join the NDA.

“We will call a meeting of national council. Many leaders and state units are with us. We will approach the EC as we are the real party,” Shrivastava told reporters. Shrivastava, who was sacked from the post of general secretary following Yadav’s rebellion, also hit out at Kumar over his remarks that he had spent two hours with the then party chief George Fernandes to persuade him to send Yadav to the Rajya Sabha after his loss in 2004 Lok Sabha elections. “Such remarks do not behove a party president. He should remember that it is Sharad Yadav who helped him (Kumar) get assembly and Lok Sabha tickets. Yadav funded his campaign,” he claimed.

He was referring to late 70s and early 80s when Yadav was among the better known socialist leaders at the national level. Yadav had never attacked Kumar by name and the Bihar chief minister should also have maintained this decorum, he said. Shrivastava also alleged that the claims of JD(U) leaders that over 95 per cent of the office bearers were with Kumar were wrong. The Kumar-led JD(U) faction has insisted that there is no split in the party as an overwhelming majority of party’s office bearers in states and at the national level were with him. It has maintained that the decision of one or two leaders to leave the party cannot be called a split. The Yadav faction had hosted a parallel meeting in Patna on the day of national council meeting but almost all senior leaders had skipped it.

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