Patel thanks Sharad Yadav for support

Ghulam Nabi Azad

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Yadav - who will begin a visit to Bihar on Thursday - has been public about his unhappiness with party chief Nitish Kumar deciding to break away from the "grand alliance" with the Congress and the RJD, and allying with the BJP.

Mr Vasava, who is known to be close to Ahmed Patel, said he chose to vote for the Congress candidate as "he is unhappy with the ruling party's works for the poor and tribal population" that he represents.

Without naming Nitish Kumar, Sharad Yadav said: "The decision to join hands with the BJP and form a government in Bihar was against the mandate given in the 2015 assembly polls against the BJP-led NDA". Of 44 votes cast in favour of Patel, senior Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia said, 43 were from Congress MLAs and the last one from Vasava, seen as a Sharad Yadav camp leader in the JD (U). The JDU's general secretary in Gujarat Ambalal Jadhav too said Mr Vasava had voted for the Congress candidate. "I voted for Ahmed Patel". Tyagi openly declared that the vote was for the BJP. Who is Tyagi to say anything. "How can I side with them", he told NDTV.

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The party today said the vote from lone JD (U) MLA in Gujarat, Chhotubhai Vasava, clinched Patel's victory.

He also hit out at Nitish Kumar, upset that he "did not even discuss with us" the decision to partner with the BJP in Bihar.

Yadav was referring to the Congress beating the BJP in one of the seats after the Election Commission rejected the votes of two dissident Congress legislators. Last night, the JD (U) had sacked Arun Shrivastav, considered a close confidante of Yadav, from the post of party general secretary for "unauthorisedly" writing to the Returning Officer of Gujarat Assembly appointing an election agent for the crucial Rajya Sabha election there.

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