At its national executive meeting on Saturday, the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) passed a resolution to formally join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. Sharad Yadav and several rebel leaders attended the convention amid rumblings of a virtual split in the party.
The patch up between decade old partners came amid separation talks in the party as Sharad Yadav who had gone rebel ever since Nitish Kumar ditched Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance with RJD and Congress to join hands with BJP. Party leader KC Tyagi made the announcement after party's national executive meeting in Patna. Yadav, who was in a vehicle with suspended JD (U) MP Ali Anwar, refused to comment on the incident. "We have no hatred for Sharad Yadav and nor did we object to his "Sanjhi Virasat" programme in Delhi". "71 MLAs out of 71 are with Nitish Kumar, 30 out of 30 MLCs are with Nitish Kumar and 16 of the 19 office bearers whose names were finalised with the consent of Sharad Yadav at an earlier meeting presided by Nitish Kumar are with Nitish".
Kicking off the Swacch UP, Swasth UP (Clean UP, Healthy UP) campaign, Adityanath termed Rahul Gandhi a "yuvraj" and former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav "shehzaada" and said their attempts to convert Gorakhpur into a picnic spot would be rebuffed by the people. For splitting the party there is need of support from two-third leaders.
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With the JD-U now having returned to the NDA fold, its MPs will soon be inducted into the Union Council of Ministers. Kumar justified the decision to part ways with the RJD and refuted the argument that it was an "insult" to the people's mandate given to the Grand Alliance in 2015. The BJP and the JD-U were partners for almost two decades, which were separated in 2013 due to internal problems of Nitish and Modi.
"But by deciding to attend the RJD rally, he will not only lose his stature and lifeline in the party but will also cross the Laxman rekha", he warned. On the RJD's statement questioning the support base of the JD (U), Kumar said, "It was due to the votes of the JD (U) that you became the largest party (in Bihar)".
The inclusion is held as Nitish Kumar's homecoming as he was earlier affiliated with the NDA and left it after the BJP went ahead and declared Nerendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections.