Nitish Kumar elected JD(U) chief, Janata merger likely soon

Decision comes ahead of possible merger of smaller regional parties; BJP slams move.

April 10, 2016 04:58 pm | Updated November 17, 2021 04:05 am IST - New Delhi

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday was elected president of the Janata Dal (United), bringing to an end Sharad Yadav’s decade-old tenure as party chief after he did not seek a fourth term.

“Humbled by party’s trust in me. Will try my best to carry Sharad Yadav’s legacy forward and I accept the new role as president of JD(U),” Mr. Kumar tweeted after his election. The National Council of the party will ratify Mr. Kumar’s election to the top post in Patna on April 23.

Praising Mr. Yadav's contribution to building the JD(U), Mr. Kumar said he would continue to be a margdarshak (mentor) to the party.

This places the regional party completely at the command of Mr. Kumar, whose national stature rose after his party, in alliance with arch-rival RJD and the Congress, defeated the BJP in the Bihar polls last year, despite having been crushed in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Mr Kumar told his party's executive meet here that efforts were being made to forge a larger alliance of like-minded parties even outside Bihar, JD (U) leader KC Tyagi said. A merger of the JD (U), Rashtrya Lok Dal and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha in Jharkhand is seen as imminent.“JD(U) had no other option than Nitish Kumar to elect as party president…like me, Sharad Yadav too, would have remained party president if there was an amendment in the party constitution,” RJD chief Lalu Prasad told journalists .

The opposition BJP, however, slammed Mr Kumar’s elevation which the party said had “ended internal democracy in the party (JD[U])”.

(With additional inputs from Amarnath Tewary)

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.