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JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav will convene meet on composite culture tomorrow as Nitish Kumar readies to officially join NDA

Sharad Yadav has announced that he will convene a 'Sajha Virasat Bachao Sammelan' on Thursday based on saving "composite culture", ANI reported.

Addressing a press conference, Yadav said that the gathering will be attended by leaders of the Opposition parties, intellectuals, farmers, Dalits and tribals from across the country, according to ANI.

With Yadav set to chair Thursday's convention, all eyes are on him as the JD(U) leader is expected to form a party of his own. After weeks of facing the heat from JD(U) and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for disapproving the decision to form alliance with BJP in Bihar that Yadav has made the announcement.

While JD(U) has denied reports of differences, it claimed on Monday that Yadav voluntarily left the party. There have been speculations about Yadav forming another party with some JD(U) lawmakers on his side.

File image of Sharad Yadav. AFP

File image of Sharad Yadav. AFP

Yadav is reportedly set to present his faction as the "real" party, claiming that many of its state units are with him while the support for party president Nitish Kumar is confined to Bihar.

The Yadav-led faction includes two Rajya Sabha MPs Ali Anwar Ansari and Veerendra Kumar, and some national office-bearers, and has armed itself with support from 14 state unit presidents, Yadav's close aide Arun Shrivastava said on Sunday. Yadav was on Saturday removed by JD(U) as the leader of its parliamentary party in the Rajya Sabha.

Kumar had previously asserted that the JD(U) was recognised only in Bihar. Reacting to it, Shrivastava had claimed the party always had a national footprint.

"We will not leave the party. Nitish Kumar himself says that the party does not exist outside Bihar. Then he should form a new party for Bihar. He should not try to capture the JD(U) which always had a national presence," he had told PTI.

Yadav enjoys little support from the party MLAs who are overwhelmingly from Bihar, but believes that he can make a fight of his claim over the party and cause a split.

During his visit to New Delhi last week, Kumar had virtually ruled out any reconciliation with Yadav. "As far as the party is concerned, it has already taken its decision. The decision was not mine alone and it was taken with the consent of the party. If he keeps a different opinion, then he is free to do so," Nitish had told reporters.

In a step against Sharad Yadav loyalists, the Bihar unit of JD(U) on Monday sacked 21 party leaders for anti-party activities.

Refuting Yadav's claim of enjoying support of 14 state units, JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi had claimed "98 percent of office bearers, 100 percent of MLAs and 75 percent of state committees" are with Kumar, who is also the party president.

JD(U) MLAs will meet in Patna later this week to formally take the party back into the NDA's folds after a gap of more than four years.

Nitish Kumar will formally join NDA on 19 August, with a likelihood of JD(U) getting two ministerial positions at the Centre. JD(U) has said that the step is only a formality after Nitish parted ways with the Mahagathbandhan and formed a new government in Bihar with the help of BJP.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Aug 16, 2017 14:38 PM

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