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Posted at: Aug 13, 2017, 1:59 AM; last updated: Aug 13, 2017, 3:45 PM (IST)

JD-U ousts Sharad as leader in RS, Shah invites Nitish to NDA

JD-U ousts Sharad as leader in RS, Shah invites Nitish to NDA
Sharad Yadav

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 12

The fight within Janata Dal-United following Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to align with the BJP came out in the open today with the party deciding to remove Sharad Yadav as its leader in the Rajya Sabha and appointing RCP Singh in his place.

Seven Rajya Sabha members of the party met House Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu today and handed him a letter declaring that Singh had been made their leader in the Upper House. Singh is widely perceived as a trusted lieutenant of Nitish.

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Of the party’s 10 members in the Rajya Sabha, three (Sharad Yadav, Veerendra Kumar and Ali Anwar Ansari) had openly criticised Nitish’s decision to dump the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) with the RJD and the Congress.

Ali Anwar was yesterday suspended from the parliamentary party for attending a meeting of Opposition parties convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Anwar maintained: “I am not bothered what the saffron JD-U does to me. I am with the janata (people) and Sharadji has rightly said we are the Janata Dal of janata (people), that believes in mass movement and collective leadership.”

Yadav maintained he still considered himself to be part of the grand alliance. The JD-U was not just Nitish’s party, but also his, he said.

Meanwhile, BJP chief Amit Shah has invited Nitish Kumar to join the ruling NDA. “I met JD-U president Nitish Kumar yesterday. I invited the JD-U to join the NDA,” Shah said in a tweet.

The Bihar-based party is expected to endorse joining the NDA at its national executive meeting on August 19.

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