Source link

'No Proof, No Case': Poll Panel Returns Sharad Yadav Plea For JD (U) Symbol

Election Commission has refused to entertain Sharad Yadav’s claim for JD (U) symbol.

NEW DELHI:  Sharad Yadav’s assertion that he, and not Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, represented the “real” Janata Dal United received a hit on Tuesday when the Election Commission refused to entertain his request because he hadn’t backed his claim with documentary evidence.

Mr Yadav, 70, had rushed to the Election Commission last month to stake claim on the JD-U’s poll symbol (arrow) and offices allotted to the party that he had co-founded.

The Bihar Chief Minister’s camp had dismissed Sharad Yadav’s application at the poll panel to delay a decision on his disqualification by the Rajya Sabha for anti-party activities and asked the poll panel to fast-track a decision. It had also reached out to the commission with affidavits of lawmakers at the centre and the state to make its case.

Sharad Yadav, who was the party chief for years before Nitish Kumar took charge in 2016, turned against the Chief Minister after Nitish Kumar dumped the Grand Alliance and formed a new government in Bihar in alliance with the BJP.

Mr Yadav had called the alliance a betrayal of the people’s mandate in the Bihar elections two years ago won on an anti-BJP agenda. Last month, he was removed as JD-U leader in the Rajya Sabha and warned against participating in an anti-BJP rally called by Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.

The JD (U) later declared he had crossed the red line and told the Rajya Sabha to disqualify its two lawmakers Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar for “anti-party” activities. According to news agency Press Trust of India on Tuesday, the two lawmakers have been given notice by the Rajya Sabha secretariat to explain within a week why they should not be stripped of their membership to the upper house.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party believes the two rebel leaders were certain to lose their membership. There is a precedent of a Raja Sabha member being disqualified for attending the opposition’s events, said JD (U) general secretary Sanjay Jha, citing the instance of Jai Narain Prasad Nishad, a BJP member who had drifted toward the RJD.

“We have given documentary and other evidence of both the leaders’ anti-party activities. That they have defied the party leadership and gone to the Election Commission seeking its symbol, is also an anti-party activity,” he said.