Janata Dal-United Rajya Sabha members on Saturday removed Sharad Yadav, who opposed the party’s decision to ally with the Bharatiya Janata Party in Bihar, as their leader in the House and replaced him with R C P Singh, a senior party leader said.
The MPs met Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu to hand him a letter appointing Singh as the leader of the JD-U in the upper house, the leader said.
Singh is a trusted lieutenant of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The JD-U has 10 members in the Rajya Sabha. It had on Friday night suspended its Rajya Sabha member Ali Anwar Ansari from the parliamentary party for attending a meeting of opposition parties convened by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Differences between Kumar and Yadav surfaced after the former snapped ties with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, and allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party to form a new government in Bihar last month.
Yadav, who is on a tour of Bihar, has said he still believes he is a part of the Grand Alliance with the RJD and the Congress. The JD-U is not just Nitish Kumar’s party, but also his party, he has said.
Yadav also claimed that the real JD-U was with him and the one with Kumar was ‘sarkari’ JD-U.
In a related development, BJP president Amit Shah said in a tweet that he had invited Kumar to join the ruling National Democratic Alliance.