Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday challenged Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav to split the party, reported PTI. “Break the JD(U) legislative party if you have the might...prove a two-thirds majority within the party for breaking it, otherwise your membership will go,” said Kumar after Yadav gave the national executive meeting of the JD(U) a miss, and held a parallel meeting in Patna.

However, the JD(U) president said that Yadav will not be able to do anything. “All 71 MLAs and 30 MLCs along with two Lok Sabha MPs are with us,” he added. Earlier, party leader KC Tyagi had said that all the heads of 16 state committees supported the chief minister.

Kumar also denied allegations that he betrayed the people’s mandate by joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party. He said people of Bihar had elected JD(U) to provide good governance. “[The] Mandate was certainly not to cover up corruption and misdeeds of others.” Kumar’s comments hours after the Janata Dal (United) passed a resolution to join the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance at the Centre.

Political tensions have been high in Bihar since Kumar broke up the alliance known as the “mahagathbandhan” in the state. He split up the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal and JD(U) alliance and resigned as the chief minister on July 26. He later allied with the BJP, and was sworn in as the chief minister again. Kumar had said he was quitting because of the corruption charges against many leaders of the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

On August 12, Yadav, who disagreed with Kumar’s decisions, was replaced as the party leader in the Rajya Sabha. The party had also suspended Rajya Sabha MP Ali Anwar Ansari for attending an Opposition parties’ meeting convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. On August 21, 21 leaders, believed to be Yadav loyalists, were also suspended.