The Janata Dal (United), headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar, on Friday staked its claim on the party’s ‘arrow’ symbol and requested the Election Commission (EC) to reject the petition of Sharad Yadav-led faction on the matter.
A delegation of Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) met the full bench of EC in New Delhi to position itself as the rightful claimant of the ‘arrow’ symbol. The delegation comprised Bihar minister Rajiv Ranjan alias Lallan Singh, Rajya Sabha MP RCP Singh, party general secretary Sanjay Jha and national principal spokesperson KC Tyagi.
The Yadav faction had petitioned the EC in this regard on August 25.
Maintaining that they had the support of the majority of national executive and national council members, Jha said “We have presented affidavits of all 71 MLAs and 30 MLCs from Bihar as well as two Lok Sabha and seven Rajya Sabha members before the EC to justify our claim.”
He said the Yadav camp had not furnished any documentary proof to justify its claim over the symbol which “signifies that the party is relentlessly moving towards its pursuit of its aims and objectives–to fight for the creation of a secular, sovereign, socialist, democratic republic of India”.
“Instead, they have pleaded for time to substantiate their claim,” Jha said.
The Nitish camp also presented proofs of Yadav’s anti-party activities, like attending a rally organised by the RJD in Patna and a yatra with the help of RJD in Bihar.
On Tuesday, the Nitish camp had formally petitioned Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to suspend the membership of Yadav, a co-founder of the party, and Ali Anwar after they violated the party’s diktat against attending the RJD’s ‘Desh Bachao, BJP Bhagao’ rally in Patna on August 27.
The constitutional provisions under which the JD(U) is seeking the suspension states that “an elected member of the house, who has not been elected as a candidate set up by a political party, joins any political party after his election, or if he voluntarily gives up his membership of the political party, if any, by which he was set up as a candidate for election as such member, in those circumstances, a member is disqualified as a member of the house”.
Sources said Yadav is learnt to have taken the plea with the Rajya Sabha chairman that the matter related to party was pending before the EC so no action can be initiated against him.
Yadav was removed as the JD(U) leader in the Rajya Sabha on August 11 after he refused to fall in line with Kumar’s decision to leave the grand alliance in Bihar and form a new government in coalition with the BJP.
The Yadav group has decided to convene its own national executive meeting in Delhi on September 17 as part of its efforts to “isolate” Nitish Kumar and ratify its claim of being the “real JD(U)”.