Sharad Yadav congratulates Ahmed Patel on winning RS poll

Senior Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav was sacked as party's leader in the Rajya Sabha on Saturday for his public disapproval of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar's decision to quit the Mahagathbandhan and re-join the BJP led alliance.

JD (U)'s Bihar state president, Vashistha Narain Singh has confirmed the reports saying that the move was taken in the wake of Yadav's recent anti-party activities. It had on Friday night suspended its Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar Ansari from the parliamentary party for attending a meeting of Opposition parties convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. "Just technicalities remain. Let him come in the NDA, we will work together", he said, adding that Kumar had no option but to snap ties with the RJD due to involvement of Lalu Prasad and his family in corruption cases.

"Sharad-led faction is the real JD-U while the other one has become a "government JD-U" and Bharatiya JD-(U)", Ansari said while briefing mediapersons. Speculations are rife that Yadav might join hands with bete noir-turned-ally Lalu Prasad, by either splitting JD (U) or forming his own party.

JD-U spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan confirmed the removal of Sharad Yadav to IANS.

The JD (U) at its August 19 National Executive Committee meeting is likely to formally join the NDA.

His congratulatory message to Patel assumes significance at a time, when the JD (U) has joined hands with the BJP to form the government in Bihar. "Yesterday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was here and MPs met him both one-to-one and together", he said.

He has termed Kumar's move as a "betrayal with people's mandate". Then he should form a new party for Bihar.

The JD (U) had last night removed Arun Shrivastav, a close confidante of Yadav, from the post of party general secretary for writing "without authorisation" to the returning officer of the Gujarat Assembly, appointing an election agent for the Rajya Sabha poll. "Kumar's decision to align with the BJP is unacceptable", Ansari said.

Vanessa Coleman