Janata Dal (United) leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Yadav has always had this uncanny knack of diverging from the topic being debated in Parliament. The recent example being the Insurance Bill debate, which somehow turned into a discourse on white skin, women from South India and their dancing ability. The incident proved that apart from having a good sense of humour, Yadav is also good at concealing his obstinacy. Eventually, he walked out before the Bill was passed by the Upper House of Parliament which explains why the JD (U) president showed no interest in talking about the subject at hand and broached upon irrelevant topics.
With the Assembly election looming large on the state horizon, the important development has been the coming together of JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar and RJD president Lalu Prasad Yadav. There were talks about Sharad Yadav getting insecure due to the growing closeness between the duo. Dismissing such rumours, Yadav says, “Coming together of the JD (U) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is the best thing to have happened in recent times. It can change the political dynamics of the state. We were at loggerheads for a long time. Now, we have become friends again and will work together the way we used to initially. It was a good time for us to merge.”
Admitting that the rift between the RJD and the JD (U) has hurt his party a lot, Yadav says, “Party workers are happy with the poll pact between the JD (U) and the RJD. The BJP benefitted a lot due to the rift between the two parties. We lost elections in Bihar because of the internal dissension within the party over the years. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP won with a bigger mandate because of the failure of the UPA.”
However, when asked about the alliance between the JD(U) and the RJD in the 80s and the way his party moved out of the same in 1990s, Yadav avoided the issue by saying that it has been a long time and there was no point in talking about it. “The two parties shared the same ideology and they are now together,” he says.
When questioned upon the Jitan Ram Manjhi experiment, the JD (U) leader says, “He (Manjhi) never followed any rules of the constitution. He had no understanding of the finance and treasury of the state. We had some expectations from him and that is why he was given the post of chief minister. After becoming cm he did not even remember the ideologies of the party.”