Sulking Sharad Yadav’s next move: Campaign to counter BJP’s “divisive” agenda

JD(U) leader won’t talk about his political plans but tells ThePrint about his mission to bring opposition parties together to promote inclusive and composite culture.

 Senior Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav may be clearly unhappy with his party colleague and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar dumping the mahagathbandhan and switching to the NDA but is keeping his political cards close to his chest.

However, in a move that is expected to send clear signals about his intentions, the Rajya Sabha MP is set to embark on a political-cultural campaign to promote what he calls is the “inclusive” and “composite” culture of India.

Yadav declined to comment when asked by ThePrint if he was planning to quit the JD(U) and join the anti-NDA camp. But his next political move, he said, will be to launch ‘Saajha Virasat Bachao’ – an initiative to counter the divisive agenda being pursued by the BJP and save the composite culture of India.

 “I want to launch a mission to save India’s composite culture, the ‘Saajha Virasat Bachao Sammelan’. I will talk to all political parties including the Congress, the Left parties and several other political parties to bring them to this platform,” Yadav said. “The idea behind the platform is simple, the country cannot operate without it.”

 Yadav is in talks with opposition leaders from across the spectrum to collaborate on this project and a mega conference is being planned in the capital to showcase this new alliance.

 The semantics and language being used by Yadav is of particular significance. He believes that the term “secularism” has been maligned by the BJP and is being equated with “appeasement” – a strategy that only ends up dividing people.

‘Saajha Virasat’, argues Yadav, is natural and inherent to India. People across the country co-exist with all their religious and caste differences only due to ‘saajha virasat’ or composite culture and this, he believes, must be protected at all cost.

 Yadav had cautioned his party against walking out of the alliance with the RJD and Congress in Bihar. He has since been tweeting against the NDA government’s moves such as demonetisation, what he says is the failure of agricultural schemes and recent CAG reports on the National Rural Health mission and agricultural insurance schemes.

 He has also met a number of opposition leaders including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, feeding speculation that he may quit the JD(U).

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