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Setback for Sharad Yadav

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NEW DELHI: Sharad Yadav’s point of view that he, and not Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, represented the “real” Janata Dal United received a hit when the Election Commission refused to entertain his request because of the fact that he hadn’t backed his claim with documentary evidence.

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Sharad Yadav had rushed to the Election Commission last month to stake claim on the JD(U)’s poll symbol (arrow) and offices allotted to the party that he had co-founded.

On the other side of the spectrum, Nitish Kumar camp had dismissed Sharad Yadav’s application at the poll panel to delay a decision on his disqualification by the Rajya Sabha for anti-party activities and asked the poll panel to fast-track a decision. It had also reached out to the commission with affidavits of lawmakers at the centre and the state to make its case.

Sharad Yadav, who was the party chief for so many years before Nitish Kumar took charge in 2016, turned against the Chief Minister after Nitish Kumar dumped the Grand Alliance and formed a new government in Bihar in alliance with the BJP.

On an expected note, Sharad Yadav had called the alliance a betrayal of the people’s mandate in the Bihar elections two years ago won on an anti-BJP agenda. Last month, he was removed as JD(U) leader in the Rajya Sabha and warned against participating in an anti-BJP rally called by Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.

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Later on in the piece, the JD(U) declared he had crossed the red line and told the Rajya Sabha to disqualify its two lawmakers Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar for “anti-party” activities. According to reports, the two lawmakers have been given notice by the Rajya Sabha secretariat to explain within a week why they should not be stripped of their membership to the upper house.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party believes the two rebel leaders were certain to lose their membership. There is a precedent of a Raja Sabha member being disqualified for attending the opposition’s events, said JD(U) general secretary Sanjay Jha, citing the instance of Jai Narain Prasad Nishad, a BJP member who had drifted toward the RJD.

“We have given documentary and other evidence of both the leaders’ anti-party activities. That they have defied the party leadership and gone to the Election Commission seeking its symbol, is also an anti-party activity,” he said.

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