U removes Sharad Yadav as leader of party in Rajya Sabha

Indian villagers carry the dismantled roof of their house through floodwaters in Balimukh Ashigarh village in Morigoan district in Assam on July 4

"All the party legislators, leaders, who are close to the government for personal benefit are with Nitish Kumar, but leaders and workers close to the people are with me", Yadav said in Bihar's Madhepura district on the last day of his three-day Samvad Yatra to meet people and interact with them. Nitish could be made convenor of the NDA, the stature once enjoyed by George Fernandes and Sharad Yadav, according to JD (U) leaders.

In another development, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah invited the JDU to rejoin the NDA.

He said, when we are together in government in Bihar, it is only natural that our party joins the Union government.

Kumar nearly shut the door on any reconciliation with Yadav, saying he is free to take any decision as the alliance with the BJP had the entire party's nod.

Bringing its factional fight out in the open, the JD (U) on Saturday removed Sharad Yadav as its leader in the Rajya Sabha, replacing him with R C P Singh, a close aide of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. A key leader behind the idea of the gathering said hopes were high that RJD, Trinamool Congress, DMK and National Conference among others would nominate members to attend the meeting.

Nitish, however, swore-in as the Bihar Chief Minister the very next day with Sushil Modi as his Deputy Chief Minister.

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Following Yadav's sacking, Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu declared Ram Chandra Prasad Singh as the new JD (U) leader in the House on a written representation by party general-secretary Sanjay Jha. He has taken care of such concerns in the Bihar council of ministers. BJP president Amit Shah had extended the invite to Nitish during their meeting in Delhi on Friday.

Speaking to ANI, MP Vashistha Narayan Singh said, "This was important and was done due to Sharad Yadav's anti-party activities".

On Friday night, JD (U) Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar Ansari, who was critical of the party's alliance with the BJP, was suspended from its parliamentary party for attending a meeting of opposition parties convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

"We have the support of activists, students, and other social leaders".

JD (U) spokesperson KC Tyagi said the party will approve the proposal in the meeting in Patna. We will go to the people.

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