Infighting intensifies within JD(U) over Rajya Sabha poll
Infighting within JD(U) intensified Wednesday with rebel party legislators alleging phone-tapping and threats from ministers and pro-Nitish Kumar MLAs asking them to fall in line for the election to three Rajya Sabha seats from Bihar.
Patna: Infighting within JD(U) intensified Wednesday with rebel party legislators alleging phone-tapping and threats from ministers and pro-Nitish Kumar MLAs asking them to fall in line for the election to three Rajya Sabha seats from Bihar.
Rebel MLAs Gyanendra Singh Gyanu, Poonam Devi, Ravindra Rai and others told reporters that ministers and some party legislators were intimidating them.
Asked if there was any scope of sorting out differences within the party, Gyanu said, "There will be no compromise on RS poll... Any talk can be held only after June 19 voting on RS seats."
He claimed support of nearly 50 JD(U) legislators and said that the figure was going up with each passing day.
Another legislator Poonam Devi alleged receiving telephone calls from some ministers and others threatening her.
Ravindra Rai, suspended by JD(U) for a tirade against Nitish, echoed similar grievance.
Gyanu and others said they would not budge from their stand.
"We will not rest till sycophants and turncoats, many of whom have become ministers, are shown the door," they said.
Asked why the rebels were not opposing Sharad Yadav, who is among the official JD(U) candidates along with diplomat-politician Pawan Varma and Gulam Rasool Balyawi, Gyanu said, "We empathise with Sharadji who himself is slighted within the party. On many occasions, he got appointment with Kumar after making several telephone calls."
Asked if their protest was directed against Nitish, Gyanu who was once the former CM`s close aide, said, "Our fight is not against any individual, but is for principles."
While no candidate has been fielded against Sharad Yadav, three Independents supported by rebels and BJP, real estate baron Anil Sharma, Sabir Ali and Dilip Jaiswal have filed nominations for two other seats in which JD(U) has officially fielded Pawan Varma and Gulam Rasool Balyawi.
Tomorrow is the last date for withdrawal of nominations. Election will be held on June 19, if needed.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi met party president Sharad Yadav at the state guest house during the day, but it was not known what transpired.
Nitish Kumar has been in Delhi for the past two days.
There were unseemly scenes within JD(U) after induction of 14 ministers in the Jitan Ram Manjhi cabinet on May 20.
The rebels were particularly hostile toward Nitish`s close aide Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan and three RJD `defectors` finding berth in the ministry.