A close confidante of JD(U) veteran Sharad Yadav today hinted that he could form a new party to remain with Bihar’s Mahagathbandhan.
However, K C Tyagi, JD(U) principal general secretary and another close confidant of Yadav, termed any such proposed move as “rumour”.
Differences have surfaced between Yadav and party president Nitish Kumar over joining hands with the BJP after dumping the coalition with the RJD and the Congress.
Vijay Verma, a senior JD(U) leader and a trusted aide of Yadav, said, “Sharadji is in touch with old friends and is pondering over the political situation. Forming a new party is one of the options to which a serious thought is being given.”
Yadav had emphatically said that he would continue to be part of the coalition of secular parties and had met Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, he told PTI over phone from Madhepura.
Verma said that the veteran socialist leader has ruled out joining the NDA government at the Centre as a minister.
Asked who are the others to whom Yadav has spoken, he refused to take names but said “his (Yadav’s) social network is widespread”.
JD(U) MPs Ali Anwar and M P Veerendra Kumar, who opposed the decision to go with the BJP, have met Yadav over the issue.
Yadav, who is presently a JD(U) Rajya Sabha member, had kept silent over Kumar’s decision to dump the Grand Alliance over the graft case against Lalu Prasad’s son and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav.
He had later publicly expressed unhappiness over joining hands with the BJP.
“People’s mandate was not for it (joining hands with the BJP),” Yadav had said outside the Parliament on July 31 and termed the disintegration of the Grand Alliance “unpleasant” and “unfortunate”.
Bihar JD(U) spokesman Ajay Alok dismissed media reports of Yadav being angry with the party.
“According to Hindu calender after current Sawan season comes Bhado and then Sharad…There is no anguish anywhere,” he said.
Tyagi, told PTI over phone, “Yadav had expressed surprise (over decision to join hands with the BJP) but never said I protest against this.”
“I have seen Sharadji closely for the past 40 years and know that he had parted ways with Lalu Prasad on the issue of corruption…How can he go with Lalu?” he asked.
Kumar had on Monday said, “It is not necessary that everybody should always agree on everything. One can have divergent views. The decision to break the Grand Alliance was taken by Bihar JD(U) at its executive meeting which I had to abide by.”
“The JD(U) is registered with the Election Commission as a regional party in Bihar and hence going against the decision of the state party was not possible for me,” he had said and added that the JD(U) national executive meeting here August 19 would deliberate on the issue in detail.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who has launched a blistering attack against Kumar after the disintegration of the alliance, in a bid to utilise the situation had appealed to Yadav to “come out from there (JD-U) and join hands with secular parties to protect the country from communal forces”.
He had, however, clarified that Yadav has not been requested to join the RJD but be part of a country-wide movement against communal forces.
Prasad has also invited Yadav for a RJD rally at Patna on August 27.