Pressure from 'all sides' for my disqualification: Sharad Yadav

New Delhi, Dec Veteran politician Sharad Yadav on Thursday said there was pressure from "all sides" to disqualify him from the Rajya Sabha, and that he knew it was a foregone conclusion.

"I knew this (disqualification) is going to happen. Some media persons also wrote about it. I had mentally prepared myself for this. I have no regrets," Yadav said here.

This is not the end and the battle of principles will continue, the former Union Minister added.

However, Sharad Yadav refrained from attacking Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu for his disqualification and called him an "old friend".

"He is an old friend of mine. But in politics, circumstances change. I still have immense respect for the institution (Rajya Sabha Chair). Persons come and go, but institutions remain and we must respect them," he said. 

A disqualification notice was served on Yadav around 10.30 p.m. on Monday at his residence while he was touring Gujarat.

Yadav wondered if Vijay Mallya's case could be referred to the house Ethics Committee for consideration before disqualifying the absconding business tycoon, and if 2008 Mumbai attacks convict Ajmal Kasab could be given a chance to exhaust all legal options before his execution, why was such hurry shown in his case.

"I can understand there must be pressure from all sides," Yadav said when asked if he thought Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal-United President Nitish Kumar had pulled some strings to expedite his expulsion from the upper house.

"But I don't see it as an expulsion. I see it as a break. Now I will dedicate myself full time to party activities," Yadav, a former President of the united JD-U, said. 

Yadav broke ranks with Nitish Kumar after the Chief Minister broke away from the grand alliance in Bihar, comprising Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Congress, and the JD-U and aligned with the Bharatiya Janata Party in July-August.

Thereafter, the Nitish Kumar faction of the JD-U petitioned the Rajya Sabha Chairman for Yadav's disqualification. 

In a swift move that political observers called "unprecedented" in such cases, Naidu disqualified Yadav and another JD-U MP Ali Anwar Ansari in less than three months of that plea. 

In a related development, the Delhi High Court, acting on a plea by Javed Raza, on Thursday issued a notice to the Election Commission and the Bihar Chief Minister in the "Arrow" symbol case decided by the poll panel in the latter's favour last month. 


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