Patna: The Janata Dal (United) on Monday suspended 21 leaders, considered loyalists of Sharad Yadav who has opposed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's decision to join hands with the BJP, for allegedly indulging in anti-party activities.
Bihar JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh ordered suspension from primary membership of these leaders including former minister Ramai Ram, ex-MP from Sheohar Arjun Rai, former MLA Raj Kishore Sinha and ex-MLC Vijay Varma, according to a statement issued by JD(U) state general secretary Anil Kumar.
Besides, a few district level office bearers of the party have also been suspended for indulging in "anti-party activities", the statement said.
Ramai Ram and Arjun Rai were prominent faces who participated in Sharad Yadav's three-day 'Samvad Yatra' which ended on August 12.
Yadav, who described the party decision to walk out of the Grand Alliance of RJD, JD(U) and Congress and join hands with the BJP as "betrayal" of mandate given by 11 crore people of Bihar, has already been removed as the JD(U) parliamentary party leader in the Rajya Sabha.
The JD(U) had also suspended Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar, who had participated in an opposition meet called by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Delhi last week.
Despite the JD(U) distancing itself from the recent tour of Sharad Yadav to the state, these 21 leaders and district level office bearers were seen with him during the trip which he had said was meant to have "direct dialogue" with the people.
Ramai Ram, who had also served as minister during RJD government before switching over to the JD(U) in 2010, had told mediapersons outside One Anne Marg residence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after state JD(U) executive committee meeting early in July that four days had been given to former Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav to come clean on accusations.
Later, he was seen with Sharad Yadav during his Bihar trip.
Nitish Kumar, who is JD(U) president, has called a meeting of party national executive in Patna on August 19 which is likely to decide Yadav's fate in the party.