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Is Janata Dal (United) heading towards a split in Bihar?

11 August 2017

In just about a fortnight since JD (U) president Nitish Kumar took his party out of the grand alliance in Bihar to join hands with BJP and stay on as chief minister, he is face to face with a revolt by the senior most party leader Sharad Yadav, pushing the party to the edge of a split.

"The agreement with the people of Bihar, who had supported the grand alliance, was one of conscience", said Yadav after reaching Patna.

Meanwhile, Arun Srivastava, a senior JD (U) leader and close aide of Sharad who was expelled from party during the Gujarat Rajya Sabha polls, attacked Nitish Kumar on Thursday.

"Sharad Yadav has constantly been questioning Nitish Kumar's decision, but hasn't once commented on the investigation against Lalu Yadav's son Tejashwi", Mr Tyagi said, warning, "If he crosses the line, it will be unfortunate". Sharad Yadav who had been representing Nitish in all opposition's formal and informal meetings also felt betrayed by Nitish.

"I am going to meet the people and will discuss the condition of the state after the withdrawal of the grand alliance".

Growing resentment in the party has become more obvious with the ruling JD (U) distancing itself from the Yadav's visit and dubbing it a personal initiative. During his Bihar tour, he is likely to hold series of public meetings to understand what people feel about Nitish Kumar's decision to break Grand Secular Alliance.

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On the other hand, JD (U) spokesmen took a dig at him. "Wish you all the success in your career", said Sharad Yadav.

"Kumar's unilateral decision to walk out of the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) violates the mandate of the 2015 assembly elections. I continue to stand for the "gathbandhan"," he said.

According to Sharad Yadav's loyalists, several party MLAs and MLCs are in touch with him. Surprisingly enough, none of the JD (U) legislators close to Yadav were there to receive him at Patna airport.

RJD MLA from Sonepur Ramanuj Prasad shared platform with Yadav at the function.

While a large number of RJD functionaries welcomed Sharad at Patna airport this morning, former state minister Ramai Ram was the only JD (U) functionary present there with a handful of party activists. Nitish ji has insulted the mandate given in favour of Mahagathbandhan of RJD, JD (U) and Congress for his own ambition and desire to remain in power.

The Rajya Sabha MP said he is running the "original" JD (U) and Nitish the "sarkari (government)" JD (U). Neeraj Kumar said that party's Muzaffarpur district unit has send a proposal to initiate disciplinary action against Ramai Ram.

Is Janata Dal (United) heading towards a split in Bihar?