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Venkaiah Naidu disqualifies rebel JD(U) MPs from the Rajya Sabha

The Rajya Sabha Chairman, Venkaiah Naidu, on Monday, disqualified rebel JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar as members of Rajya Sabha.

Vice President and the chairman of the Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu on Monday, 4 Dec, disqualified the two rebel JD(U) members, Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar from the Rajya Sabha. After Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar broke the grand alliance with Rashtriya Janta Dal and Indian National Congress, a few months back to join hands with the Bhartiya Janta Party and form a new government in the state, the Janta Dal United were facing internal differences.

Sharad Yadav, who was one of the founding pillars of the party, felt backstabbed with the decision of Nitish Kumar to break the mandate and form a coalition with BJP, rebelled against the party. The rebel leader claimed that Nitish had broken the trust of the people and that the real JD(U) was with him and also said that he would continue the coalition with the RJD and Congress. Sharad Yadav had also filed a petition with the EC to claim for the symbol of the party on the grounds that Nitish had ditched the party members and that the real JD(U) members were with him, therefore the symbol of the party be given to his faction. However, the plea was rejected as the paperwork was incomplete.

Since Nitish joined hands with the BJP and formed a new government in Bihar, Sharad Yadav along with a few other JD(U) members declared their rebellion against the party openly. Sharad also more than once alleged that Nitish had joined hands with BJP for personal gains and that his JD(U) was the party of the BJP whereas the real JD(U) as he claimed was the party of the people.

Seeing the rebellion nature of Sharad Yadav, the Nitish Kumar faction had warned him that if he continues to go against the party, he would be disqualified from the Rajya Sabha. Nitish Kumar faction had also told Sharad Yadav, not to continue the coalition with RJD and Congress, but the latter turned a blind eye to the warnings.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar broke the alliance on the grounds of his principles that he claims to follow strictly. He believes in zero tolerance for corruption and is known for his clean image. After a series of corruption cases were filed against RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, his wife Rabri Devi and son and former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Tejashwi Yadav, Nitish broke the alliance with the party, in order to not be in connection with corrupt leaders.

Following the cases against the RJD Chief and the breakup in the grand alliance, Lalu Prasad Yadav had alleged that the BJP was playing political vendetta against him. He had also organized a mega rally inviting all the opposition parties to share the platform and stand as one against the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Nitish Kumar faction had warned Sharad Yadav, that if he shares the stage with such corrupt leaders his Rajya Sabha membership will be disqualified and so did it happen. To this warning, Sharad had replied that he was not hungry for power and would stand with the mandate who trusted the JD(U) and Nitish Kumar broke their trust.

In series of the incidents that followed, despite the repeated warning, Sharad did not stop his actions and as a result, the party started to take a decision against the Sharad Yadav factions. The party expelled Ali Anwar a JD(U) member from the party in wake of doing activities against the party by attending the meeting on behalf of Sharad Yadav. Following this, RCP Singh replaced Sharad Yadav as the leader of the parliamentary party in the Rajya Sabha.

Then in September Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had filed a petition against Sharad Yadav seeking his disqualification from the upper house of the parliament. Nitish led JD(U) had filed a petition in Sep against Sharad Yadav under the anti-defection law and the 10th Schedule, responding to which Sharad wrote to the Rajya Sabha Chairman, Venkaiah Naidu that the petition filed by Nitish is not only baseless but also non-maintainable.

However, Venkaiah Naidu had asked Sharad to appear before him in person on October 30 with regard to the petition filed against his disqualification from the upper house of the Parliament. Though Sharad had submitted a 202-page reply to the Chairman reading that the petition filed by JD(U) did not fulfil relevant provisions of the anti-defection law and that the petition cannot be proceeded under the Tenth Schedule, when the core dispute between the party and its symbol is sub judice, pending before the Election Commission. He was still asked to appear in person giving him the opportunity to represent his case and offer a defense before any decision was taken regarding the matter.

In mid-Oct it was decided that Venkaiah Naidu will take over the matter of the disqualification as MP’s, of rebel JD(U) leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar, rather than passing the matter to the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges. This decision was taken as JD(U) under the leadership of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had demanded that the decision of the lawmakers’ disqualification should not be delayed by sending it to the parliamentary panel.

As per the latest updates, both the rebel leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar were disqualified as the members of the upper house by Venkaiah Naidu. JD(U) leader of the parliamentary party in the Rajya Sabha, RCP Singh in a post on social media said that “Today (Monday) the Chairman Rajya Sabha M. Venkaiah Naidu decided and declared the decision against the petition filed by me against Ali Anwar Ansari and Sharad Yadavji under the 10th schedule of the Constitution of India that the Respondent, Sharad Yadav, and Ali Anwar Ansari have incurred disqualification for being a Member of the House in terms of paragraph 2 (1)(a) of the 10th Schedule to the Constitution of India. Both of them have thus ceased to be a Member of the Rajya Sabha with immediate effect. I decide and declare accordingly.”

He also congratulated and thanked the party members to stand and support in favour of Nitish Kumar. “This was the order and decision and I am enclosing a copy of the order for your reference. Congratulations to all party workers for being united with our leader and National President Nitish (Kumar) Ji. Thank you!” he said.

Responding to the disqualification, the rebel leaders who are currently in Gujarat campaigning ahead of the assembly elections said that they will collectively think and take decisions accordingly. Ali Anwar said that “I received the information while I was addressing a meeting here in Rajkot. I will speak to Sharad Yadav ji and we will take a decision together. We will appeal at all those places where there is a possibility for us to get justice.”

Meanwhile, Sharad Yadav reacting to the decision of the Vice President said that “I am disqualified from the Rajya Sabha as the ‘mahagathbandan’ which was formed to defeat the NDA in Bihar and after 18 months to break it and joining NDA to remain in power and if to speak against this undemocratic style is my fault I will continue to fight to save democracy.”

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