Patna, June 12: JDU national president Sharad Yadav sailed into the Rajya Sabha unopposed even as his party blamed “7 RCR” (Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official residence) for the upheaval in Bihar’s ruling establishment.
BJP member of Legislative Council (MLC) Dilip Jaiswal, who had filed his nomination as an Independent against the JDU’s official nominee, Pawan Varma, withdrew from the fray on the last day of withdrawal today. But it came as no respite to the JDU, as dissidents Sabir Ali and Anil Sharma continue to challenge its official nominees, Ghulam Rasool Baliabi and Varma respectively.
“I had joined a race which already has two big contestants (Pawan Varma and Anil Sharma). I thought I was too small to take them on and withdrew,” Jaiswal said.
Sharad was in no mood to celebrate his victory. He authorised state parliamentary affairs minister Shravan Kumar to collect his certificate from the Assembly’s secretariat.
The party’s Mahadalit face, food and consumer protection minister Shyam Rajak, said: “7 RCR has a hand in creating political instability in Bihar.” He did not specifically name Narendra Modi but said former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi was executing 7 RCR’s plan to destabilise Bihar. “I challenge Sushil Modi to come out with a recording of his cellphone and landline conversations.” He was apparently implying that Modi was in touch with the JDU’s rebels over phone.
The BJP rubbished the charges. It said the JDU was trying to hide its weakness by making “baseless” charges. The BJP leadership said it would announce its official stand on the Rajya Sabha elections on June 17. But its spokesman, Vinod Naryan Jha, cleared the air. “As an effective Opposition, we are not here to give the JDU a safe passage,” he said.
The rebel camp suffered a setback today when JDU MLA Dawood Ali, who had earlier signed as a proposer for Sabir Ali, withdrew from the dissidents’ camp in favour of the official nominee. “Nitish is my leader and I will vote as per his wishes,” Dawood said.
Besides winning over dissidents, the JDU also appeared accommodative of Lalu Prasad, who too seems to have softened his stand towards Nitish’s embattled party.
JDU state unit chief Bashishtha Narayan Singh said: “We expect RJD members to vote for our candidates for it (RJD) swears by secularism.” RJD legislature party leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui was non-committal. Legislators would go by Lalu’s orders, he said. The party’s national spokesman, Manoj jha, offered some respite. “The RJD will not do anything that directly or indirectly helps the BJP,” he said.
The BJP was clearly enjoying the JDU’s plight. “The message has gone down that the Manjhi government is unstable,” a senior BJP leader said.