Party sources in JDU, who are aware of the development, said that with the Rajya Sabha Secretariat already serving a notice to the two MPs earlier this week, seeking their response on a notice sent by the JDU seeking their disqualification, there are definite chances that the two will be disqualified within three-four weeks under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, which deals with anti-defection and disqualification of elected members.
JDU sources said that the disqualification of the two leaders was imminent. “We have submitted all the documentary evidence, photographs to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat that clearly prove that the two have attracted the provisions of the 10th Schedule as they have voluntarily given up their membership of the JDU which was evident when they attended an anti-JDU rally organised by the RJD on 27 August, while abstaining from the party’s official meet in Patna,” a JDU source said.
The JDU, which had tried to dissuade Sharad Yadav from attending the RJD’s rally in Patna, was aware that Sharad Yadav, who was replaced as the party president by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, will not back down. “He is feeling marginalised in the party, a feeling which became stronger in April last year when he was replaced as the party chief. He should have understood that despite not having a mass base, which was evident from his loss in the general election in 2014, he was always promoted by Nitish Kumar. Sharad Yadav might be terming this as a fight against the BJP, but in reality, he is doing all this to keep himself relevant,” the party leader said.
In an official letter that was sent to Sharad Yadav by the JDU before the 27 August rally, the party had clearly mentioned that if Sharad Yadav attended the rally and missed the JDU’s own programme, it would be considered that he was voluntarily leaving the party. This letter is likely to become one of the main arguments that the JDU will use to seek his disqualification.
The party leaders said that it was too early to speculate on who might replace the two in the RS when the time comes. “We have many capable leaders within the party who have served the party for long. Ultimately it will be decided by Nitish Kumar-ji,” the leader said while dismissing reports that an editor level journalist, who is with a widely read English daily, might be sent to the RS by the JDU.
Yadav, meanwhile, has made it clear that he will not go down without a fight. A day after the Election Commission refused to take cognizance of his faction’s claim over the party’s symbol, citing lack of documents to support such a stand, he called for a “JDU” national council meet on 8 October.
JDU leaders say that he will face the same response that he got when he visited Patna to attend the rally. “No JDU leader went to meet him or attended his programme. The same is going to happen with his 8 October programme. It will also be interesting to see whether he will remain an RS member by that time or not,” a source said.