Sharad Yadav Spurns Cabinet Berth, Won’t Join Modi Government

The senior socialist leader’s refusal to back Nitish Kumar’s embrace of the BJP is the first sign of a crack within the Janata Dal (United).

File photo of JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav speaking in the Rajya Sabha. Credit: PTI

New Delhi: In the first signs of an internal revolt against Nitish Kumar’s decision to join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party and form a new coalition government in Bihar, senior Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav has decided to oppose the new alliance.

Speaking to The Wire on Friday afternoon, Yadav, who is a Rajya Sabha member and a veteran of national politics who first entered parliament in 1974, said that he was against Nitish’s decision to ally with “communal forces”.

Sources close to Yadav added that he told finance minister Arun Jaitley – who met the senior JD(U) leader here on Thursday night to discuss a specific ministerial portfolio in the Union government– that he was not interested in becoming a minister and would in fact continue to oppose the BJP nationally and in Bihar.

Yadav would be making a formal statement on his decision in a day or so, the sources said.

On Friday, the Nitish Kumar government comfortably won a vote of confidence in the Bihar assembly with 131 MLAs backing the chief minister and 108 voting against him. The JD(U) has 71 MLAs and the NDA 58, of which the BJP alone has 53. Nitish also won the backing of two independent MLAs.

Those voting against Nitish government included the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s 80 MLAs, the Congress’s 27, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) 3 and one independent.

Sharad Yadav’s current term in the Rajya Sabha comes to an end at the end of July and he has already been renominated by the JD(U) for a fresh term. How the JD(U) MLAs will vote now that Yadav has broken ranks with Nitish Kumar over the BJP alliance remains to be seen.

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  • S.N.Iyer

    The game of musical chairs will begin. JDU will split and the Congress and other parties of the gatbandhan should try and attract some more parties from the South. Sharad Yadav doesnt seem to carry any baggage. From the Congress, Kharge and Sharad Pawar from NCP who can speak Hindi and are senior leaders can be the joint second in command.. The new united party should have a different name should try and strengthen with various experts from various fields. The main qualifications should be honesty and long public service including several younger leaders who can appeal to the new mass middle class young people who will instinctively oppose the divisive and communal policies of the RSS. In professional areas like agriculture, finance , economics and external affairs and education and health where the BJP have failed miserably, the new party should invite experts/professionals. This should be the blueprint .No more personal barbs but attack on principles and trends in the wrong policies of the BJP should be the main policy. IN the next two years this can be achieved if immediate steps are taken to correct the imperfections in some parties and their leaders.;