Rift wide open: Original JD(U) is with me, says Sharad Yadav
Senior leader Sharad Yadav on Thursday claimed that the original JD(U) is with him as he termed Nitish Kumar's joining hands with the BJP as "betrayal of the people's mandate.
"The trust of 11 crore people who gave mandate to form the grand alliance government in Bihar was broken," Yadav told reporters at the airport on his first trip to Bihar since the end of the grand alliance.
"The agreement of 'gathbandhan' (grand alliance) was for five years which was broken. I am hurt by this. I continue to stand for the 'gathbandhan'," he said.
Yadav said the grand alliance and the BJP had come out with different manifestos for the assembly election.
"It's for the first time in the history of the country that the two manifestos of rival groupings have mingled," he said.
Yadav, who is in the state on a three-day tour, to hold "direct dialogue" with the people, expressed his unhappiness over Nitish joining hands with BJP to form a new government and dubbed it as "betrayal of the mandate".
With JD(U) under Nitish distancing itself from Yadav's tour, former minister Ramai Ram and only a handful of partymen were seen with him.
RJD supporters were, however, seen in large numbers receiving him at Patna airport as well as during his tour indicating Lalu Prasad's wholehearted support to him.
Asked whether his trip amounted to "anti-party activity", Yadav, who is the leader of the party in the Upper House, said, "I do not want to make any comment." From the Patna airport, Yadav's convoy headed straight for Sonepur in Saran district. From there, he would go to Hajipur and stop at Muzaffarpur for the night.
At a function at Sonepur, Yadav said, "Sarkari JD(U) is with Nitish Kumar while the original party is with me. The original JD(U) in association with secular forces would form a government after next general election." RJD MLA from Sonepur Ramanuj Prasad shared platform with Yadav at the function.
RJD supporters in large number along with some JD(U) workers accorded reception to Yadav at Ramashish Chowk, Anjanpeer chowk in Hajipur in Vaishali district.
Asked about the presence of RJD workers in his tour programme, Yadav justified it saying they are part of the 'Gatbandhan' of which he is a part.
On Friday, Yadav would visit Darbhanga and Madhubani and visit Supual, Saharsa and Madhepura on August 12.
From Madhepura he had won many times in Lok Sabha poll in the past but lost to Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav in 2014.
With Yadav making it clear that he is charting a different path, JD(U) leaders maintained restraint in using harsh words against him but expressed their displeasure particularly over his company with RJD.
JD(U) secretary general K C Tyagi, a known aide of Yadav, indicated moving away from him and said "Sharad Yadav ji is unfortunately protesting against a decision taken by Bihar unit of the party to become part of NDA."
"He is saying he is still part of 'Gatbandhan', but we have left that path and become a part of NDA," Tyagi told.