Latest tug of war over supporting candidature of Kejriwal in Varanasi

Differences in the Janata Dal (United) seem to be getting wider at the leadership level, throwing the party into a chaotic situation.

The latest tug of war within the party is over supporting the candidature of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal in Varanasi against Narendra Modi.

JD (U) State unit president Bashist Narain Singh on Saturday rejected the claim of party spokesman K.C.Tyagi that he (Mr. Tyagi) and party chief Sharad Yadav would be campaigning for Mr. Kejriwal.

Not going to Varanasi

Mr. Singh said neither Mr. Yadav nor Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be going to Varanasi to canvass for Mr. Kejriwal as both of them were busy in electioneering for the next phase of polling for 13 Lok Sabha constituencies to be held on May 7 and May 12.

Mr. Singh declined to comment on what Mr. Tyagi had to say on the issue, but said the party was pressed to meet its own needs in the State.

A day earlier on Friday, Mr. Yadav had accused Mr. Kumar of indulging in politics of caste like RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

The JD (U) president, however, retracted his statement within hours, attributing it to a slip of the tongue.

Mr. Yadav locked in a rather tough battle in Madhepura against RJD’s Pappu Yadav and BJP’s Vijay Singh Kushwaha has apparently not been comfortable with the way the party has been functioning of late.

Manifesto criticised

He openly criticised the manner in which the party manifesto had been prepared without his consultation and involvement of other party leaders, targeting Mr. Kumar for getting it drafted by an NGO.

The JD (U) chief had also scotched rumours that he was likely to shift to Nalanda from Madhepura, after it was declared that Pappu Yadav would be the RJD candidate. According to party sources, Mr. Yadav in no way wanted to project that he was obliged to Mr. Kumar.

At a public meeting on Friday, where he accused Mr. Kumar of being a caste leader, Mr. Yadav sought to stress that he had mentored Mr. Kumar and anointed him the Chief Minister.