RS disqualification: Sharad Yadav gets 10 days to provide defense
Vice-president and RS Chairman Venkaiah Naidu has reportedly given JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav 10 more days to offer his defense regarding the disqualification application filed by JD(U) floor leader Ram Singh, due to Yadav's defection. Yadav is often accused of switching sides to suit his ambition. On whom will this self-styled Chanakya piggyback this time around? Read on to know more!
Humble beginnings: A student leader
A farmer's son from MP's Hoshangabad, Yadav earned Bachelor's in electrical engineering from Jabalpur. Early on, he became politically active and cites socialist Ram Manohar Lohia as an influence. During 1970s, at the peak of the Jayaprakash Narayan (JP) movement, socialist leaders joined hands to fight Indira Gandhi. Yadav was handpicked by JP to contest a 1974 Jabalpur by-poll election, which he won.
Yadav steers his course multiple times, to stay relevant
Yadav quit the Jabalpur seat during Emergency and won it again in the post-Emergency 1977 elections. Following this, Yadav navigated between splinters after Janata Party's disintegration. Despite Charan Singh being his "political mentor," Yadav aligned with Karpoori Thakur. However, in 1982, he hopped onto Devi Lal's wagon, as he became a force to reckon with in Haryana. But, he soon felt stagnated in Haryana.
Part of VP Singh's government, Yadav pushes for Mandal Report
Yadav soon realized the need to carve his own. With this view, he shifted his focus to Bihar and UP. Subsequently, he was involved in Janata Dal's founding and projecting VP Singh as PM candidate during 1989 elections, when Congress was facing the Bofors heat. As a minister in Singh's government, he pressured Singh to implement the Mandal report assuring OBC reservation.
Supporting the anti-Mandir front, Yadav gets pally with Lalu
But Singh's National Front government soon fell and Yadav led a rebellion against Devi Lal. Now, in search of greener pastures, Yadav turned "mentor" to Lalu Prasad Yadav, who had become Bihar CM and taken a strong stand against BJP on the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid issue. He won Bihar's Madhepura constituency and projected himself as an "intellectual leader" of the Yadavs.
After falling-out with Lalu, Yadav piggybacks on Nitish
Yadav remained with Lalu until corruption charges dogged the latter. Yadav decided to take advantage of Lalu's growing unpopularity and contested against him for the Madhepura seat in 1999. This was touted as a high-profile showdown, which Yadav won. Following this, after burning bridges with most leaders, he latched onto Nitish. This led to his JD(U) phase.
Yadav ends up supporting the party he earlier opposed
During AB Vajpayee's Prime-ministership, Yadav, Nitish Kumar and George Fernandes sought to align Janata Dal with NDA. This led to Deve Gowda, who opposed the alliance, leave and form JD(Secular). Yadav and Kumar's faction became JD(United). He served NDA in various capacities like civil aviation, labour and consumer affairs minister. Thus, Yadav was supporting the party (BJP) he had once opposed.
Yadav's conscience reminds him of his ideological opposition to BJP
Nitish-Yadav duo returned to power in Bihar by forming a Mahagathbandhan with Lalu and Congress in 2015. However, after Lalu was embroiled in corruption cases, Nitish re-joined NDA. Yadav then cited his ideological opposition to the BJP and rebelled against Nitish. Ironically, Yadav had opposed Nitish's decision to quit NDA when they had declared Modi, facing heat for 2002 Godhra riots, their PM candidate.
So, what is in store for Yadav?
Yadav, who now faces disqualification from the RS, is now on the path to playing a major role in uniting the opposition against the Modi-led BJP government for the 2019 LS elections. For this, he is aligning with Lalu and Congress. Will Yadav be successful in staying relevant even as the opposition totters to remain united? We'll have to wait and watch.