Sharad Yadav faction drums up support of 14 JDU state units

Significantly, Sonia Gandhi also invited Yadav for an Opposition meeting on Friday, which was attended by rebel MP Ali Anwar. "Yesterday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was here and MPs met him both one-to-one and together", he said. "This was important due to Yadav's recent actions", party leader Vasishtha Narayana said.

Explaining his break up from the mahagathbandhan the JD (U), President, Nitish Kumar had alleged that corruption is seeping in and ruining the alliance through Lalu Yadav and his clan. "He [Sharad Yadav] has not been removed from the JD (U)", party leader Vasishtha Narayana said.

"There is absolutely no support for Sharad among JD (U) legislators".

Reacting to speculation that Sharad Yadav may form his own party, Tyagi said: "How can he do this?" 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. "Sharad Yadav should accept that Nitish Kumar has that power today and he does not have", Paswan said.

"We will not leave the party".

At the Patna meeting, the JD (U) will formalise a decision to join the NDA. He said it was Yadav who headed the party before Kumar had merged his Samata Party with it.

"We are the real one as we are still with the principles of the JD-U, but they have changed and become BJD-U", he added, in a jibe at the Nitish faction which has sided with the BJP to form government in Bihar. Yadav is presently travelling through Bihar to interact with people and chart a new possible course.

Yadav had said the grand alliance and the BJP had come out with different manifestos for the Assembly election.

Speculation swirled over his remarks that the party could suspend him.

Senior JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav on Wednesday congratulated Congress" Ahmed Patel for winning the election to a Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, "in spite of the toughest hurdles'. We are not going to get cowed down by such threats.

Vanessa Coleman