Nitish Kumar brushes off Sharad Yadav's rebellion, says he is 'free to take his own decision'
Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) national president Nitish Kumar on Friday brushed off the banner of rebellion raised by his party colleague Sharad Yadav after the former abandoned the Grand Alliance to return to the BJP-led NDA fold.
"He (Sharad Yadav) is free to take his own decision. As far as the party is concerned, it has taken a collective decision. The decision taken is not based on my will only, it had been made with the consent of the entire party. I have made it clear earlier also but if he still wants to state his views, then he is free to do so," Kumar told reporters outside the Parliament complex.
Yadav, the party's leader in Rajya Sabha, has expressed unhappiness over Kumar's decision to ditch the alliance with the RJD and Congress which had catapulted him to power in the Assembly elections in October, 2015.
"(BJP used) 26 helicopters and 12 planes in 2015 Bihar polls. We formed the Grand Alliance that was supported by Left parties, BSP and SP… people of Bihar gave the Grand Alliance two-thirds majority. People of country too hailed this. But who has broken that trust? This is why I have come to people. You have to make Grand Alliance stronger," said Yadav addressing a 'janta se seedha samvad' programme in Hajipur, Bihar.
He said the split in the Grand Alliance was a 'betrayal' of agreement with the people of Bihar and the rest of the country. He added that he would continue to hold more programmes across the state to interact with workers and people.
Kumar had resigned as chief minister in the last week of July citing the taint of corruption on deputy chief minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. A day later, the JD(U) legislative party authorized him to form a government with the support of the BJP.
At least two JD(U) leaders have hinted to the Indian Express that Yadav could face action for his anti-party stand, possibly even a suspension from the party and removal as the leader in the Upper House.
"Sharad ji has said that he is still with the Grand Alliance. This is definitely objectionable. JD(U) is now part of NDA alliance in Bihar. Hence no party leader should make a statement like that," JD(U)'s national spokesperson K C Tyagi told the Indian Express.
The Bihar CM was in the national capital to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Venkaiah Naidu as the country's 13th vice-president and hold talks with prime minister Narendra Modi. He said he would return once again in the last week of August to consult with the prime minister over ongoing development projects in the state.