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Nitish Kumar unanimously elected as Janata Dal (United) president

India TV Politics Desk 10 Apr 2016, 14:38:38 IST
India TV Politics Desk

New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was today unanimously elected as the president of Janata Dal (United). He will replace 3-time party chief Sharad Yadav.

The decision was announced after the party's national executive meeting here.

Party general secretary and spokesperson KC Tyagi earlier this morning informed that Sharad, in his capacity as president, had last week called a meeting of the national council to deliberate on a replacement. In the meeting, he had refused to make any more amendment in the party's constitution to allow him another re-election as the party president.

Sharad was elected party president for a third term in 2013 after the JD(U) constitution, which till then had a provision for only two terms for the president's position, was amended.

Nitish had in 2006 played a key role in getting Sharad anointed as the party chief. At that time, Sharad had replaced Nitish's erstwhile mentor Fernandes, who had in 2003 become the first president of the JD(U) when it was formed following the merger of the Sharad-led faction of the Janata Dal and Fernandes's Samata Party.

The change of guard in JD(U) indicate the changes in its internal dynamics at a time when Nitish is being seen to be preparing the party for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls along with election strategist Prashant Kishor, who has emerged as his most dependable ally after playing a vital role in the partys rout of BJP in 2015 Bihar assembly polls.

Under Sharad’s third tenure soon after it began in April 2013, JD(U) broke up with BJP after Nitish made clear his strong reservations on Narendra Modi, who was then tipped to be the saffron party’s prime ministerial candidate.

JD(U) suffered a humiliating loss in 2014 Lok Sabha elections but bounced back in the 2015 Assembly polls after striking a new alliance with Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD and Congress.