EC nixes Sharad claim on JD(U) symbol

| | New Delhi

Trouble mounted for rebel Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav as the Election Commission on Tuesday rejected his claims made on the JD(U) poll symbol (Arrow) and the offices allotted to the party for lack of supportive evidence.  This even as he faces the prospect of disqualification from the Rajya Sabha for anti-party activities.

According to sources, the Commission has refused to take congnisance on Sharad Yadav faction’s claims citing lack of evidence.  Yadav, the former president and co-founder of JDU, had approached the EC, claiming that he represented the “real” party, and that a majority of its national council members were with him. Yadav was said to be unhappy with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to dissolve the Grand Alliance Government and join ranks with the BJP to form new Government.

In a related development, the Rajya Sabha secretariat has asked the JD(U)’s rebel MPs, Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar, to respond within a week to their party’s petition that they be disqualified from the House for their “anti-party” activities. After Yadav turned against party president Nitish Kumar’s decision to ally with the BJP and attended an opposition rally in Patna, the JD(U) had urged Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu to disqualify him and Ansari, who too had joined Yadav. Yadav was first removed as the party’s leader in the Upper House. After he attended a Lalu Prasad-led RJD rally in Patna, the JD(U) moved to get him disqualified.

Earlier in its communication to the Sharad Yadav’s camp, the Commission said, “Your plea was not backed by any evidence or affidavits of support from party office bearers, MPs and MLAs”. “Therefore the Commission has not taken any cognisance of the said application under Para (15) of the Symbols Order,” the Commission’s order states. Further, the application filed by Javed Raza, on behalf of the Sharad faction, was not signed by Raza. EC sources said the Yadav faction is free to file another application with documents to effectively buttress its claim, a task that would be difficult for the veteran leader given the kind of support Kumar enjoys in the party. On the other hand, Nitish Kumar camp had submitted all documentary proof related to party — affidavits of 71 of our MLAs, 30 members of Legislative Council in Bihar, two Lok Sabha members and seven Rajya Sabha members. 



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