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JD(U) is with NDA: Sharad Yadav
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 23
Days after it extended support to Pranab Mukherjee, the UPA-sponsored candidate for the presidential election, the Janata Dal (United) today sought to distance itself from embarrassing remarks by its spokesman suggesting altering political equations.

No rift over backing Pranab

The support of the JD(U) to UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee is no indication of any rift in the NDA.

Sharad Yadav, JD (U) chief

Gag orders for partymen

You (JD(U) leaders and spokesmen) should refrain from issuing statements or speaking to the media on contentious issues.

Nitish Kumar, Bihar CM

JD(U) general secretary Shivanand Tiwari’s remarks defending the UPA’s handling of economy and suggesting the BJP to reconsider its support to Purno A. Sangma in the presidential election created a piquant situation for the party and its relations with the BJP-led NDA.

While asserting that the party spokesperson should consult him or Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar before making statements, JD(U) Chief Sharad Yadav reiterated that what he said last week while backing Mukherjee, remains the authorised statement of the party.

“The support of the JD(U) to UPA presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee is no indication of any rift in the NDA. The NDA is united and will remain so’’ the JD(U) Chief told correspondents here in an attempt to dispel doubts about developing cracks.

Top JD (U) leadership of Yadav and Nitish did not approve of the stinging remarks by a colleague as they do not want to precipitate matters. The JD (U) - BJP run a coalition government in Bihar which is yet some distance from completing its term.

Besides asking the BJP to reconsider the stand to back Sangma, Tiwari had also said the situation of the Indian economy would have been no different even if BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad had been the country's Finance Minister. Sharad Yadav countered it by emphasising that the JD (U) holds the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance responsible for “the mess the country is in today. Underscoring approach of different political parties during previous presidential elections, Yadav said even in 2007, Shiv Sena supported Congress-UPA candidate Pratibha Patil while the Akali Dal backed Zail Singh earlier.

Earlier, BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay joined issue with JD (U) spokesperson for his pro-Mukherjee remarks saying: “Why is Shivanand Tiwari's confidence so low that he is advocating the cause of the UPA government by defending its misrule and bad governance’’.

The JD (U) top leadership does not want to precipitate matters beyond a point as the JD (U)-BJP run a coalition government in Bihar where elections are due only two years later.

In a related development, the CPI (Marxist) expelled Prasenjit Bose, a prominent young face of the party, for seeking to “malign the political line of the party’’. In his open letter of resignation from the CPI (M), Bose questioned the move of the party to support Mukherjee.





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