In a big win for Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, the Election Commission recognised the group led by him as the Janata Dal (United), or JDU, rejecting the claim of the Sharad Yadav faction over the party’s name and election symbol, reports PTI.
Kumar and Yadav parted ways after the former decided to join hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in July, triggering a battle for the control of the party.
Yadav claimed that by ending the alliance with Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and deserting the greater “grand alliance”, Kumar had gone against the party’s national executive’s decision to oppose the BJP.
As the rift between the two widened, Yadav held a ‘national executive’ of the JDU in Delhi where Chhotubhai Amarsang Vasava was appointed as the acting president. Vasava approached the Election Commission staking claim over the party and its poll symbol ‘arrow’. Yadav all along maintained that the faction led by him was the real JDU.
The EC, in its order issued on Friday, said the group led by Kumar “has demonstrated overwhelming majority support” in the legislature wing as well as the majority in the national council of the party, which is the apex organisational body of the JDU.
“The group led by Nitish Kumar is hereby recognised as the Janata Dal (United)…Consequently, the group led by Nitish Kumar is entitled to use the reserved symbol ‘Arrow’ of the party as a recognised state party in Bihar,” the order read.
The two factions sought an early decision from the poll panel, noting that they wanted to contest next month’s Gujarat Assembly polls using the “arrow” symbol.