Sharad Yadav has no mass base: JD-U

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu has said presiding officers should decide issues of disqualification of legislators within three months, arguing that quick disposal of cases would discourage the "evil of political defections".

Earlier in the day, Sharad Yadav left for Gujarat to campaign for the party in the assembly election there for his party candidates who are contsting on the symbol of Bharatiya Rashtriya Tribal Party on seven out of 182 seats.

Maharashtra chief of Janata Dal (United) Kapil Patil has criticised Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over Sharad Yadav's disqualification from Rajya Sabha. Yadav and Ali Anwar had declared Nitish's decision as a "betrayal of the mandate given to the Mahagathbandhan by the people of Bihar" and vowed to fight against the chief minister's autocratic style of functioning. "In the absence of violation of a party whip, the decision taken by the chairperson has no ground".

The referring of the disqualification petitions to the committee on privileges delays the proceedings and final decision, which is against the Constitution's 10th schedule, Naidu said while explaining why the rebel JD (U) MPs' disqualification petitions were not referred to the panel.

On Tuesday, Yadav and several other Opposition leaders slammed Naidu's decision to disqualify the two veteran parliamentarians without even giving them a chance to reply to a notice that over the imminent decision that was reportedly served to them from the Rajya Sabha secretariat only hours before the remainder of their Upper House tenures were terminated. "Similarly, Kumar's hypocritical policy, which ignores all customs, traditions and decency, is condemnable", said Patil, lashing out at Kumar. "Though we doubt he will do so as he had announced long ago that he would send BSP supremo Mayawati to the Rajya Sabha, but he is yet to honour that promise", JD (U)'s national general secretary and leader in the Rajya Sabha RCP Singh said at a press conference. The split has created two factions in the party.

Vanessa Coleman