The Janata Dal (United) on Monday suspended 21 leaders for allegedly indulging in anti-party activities, PTI reported. The leaders are believed to be rebel Sharad Yadav’s loyalists and had opposed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to form an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party last month.

Bihar JD(U) President Vashishtha Narayan Singh suspended the leaders, including former state minister Ramai Ram, former Sitarmahi MP Arjun Rai, former MLA Raj Kishore Sinha, former MLC Vijay Varma and several district presidents, party general secretary Anil Kumar said in a statement. Ram and Rai had recently participated in Yadav’s Jan Samvad Yatra which ended on August 12.

On Saturday, Yadav had been replaced with Ramchandra Prasad Singh as the JD(U) leader in the Rajya Sabha. Yadav had not been removed from JD(U), the party said, adding that he was replaced because of he had been involved in anti-party activities. On Friday, the party had also suspended Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar Ansari for attending an Opposition parties’ meeting convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

Hostilities between Yadav and Bihar CM Kumar increased after the latter broke away from the grand alliance with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal and joined hands with the BJP to form the government in the state. Yadav had openly voiced his concerns with the political shift in Bihar.

Yadav on Sunday said he will present his faction as the “real party” and claimed that a number of JD(U) state units had extended their support to him.