RJD, JD-U merger likely ahead of Bihar Assembly polls
PATNA: Bihar will witness the biggest political realignment of the decade ahead of the assembly polls in 2015 with likely merger of Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the ruling Janata Dal-United to counter the surging BJP.”After results of Haryana and Maharashtra assembly polls, Lalu Prasad and JD-U president Sharad Yadav and former chief minister Nitish Kumar have agreed in principle to merge the two parties to take on the BJP,” a RJD leader close to Lalu Prasad said Monday.
This development has come nearly four months after Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar joined hands in Bihar and 10 days after leaders of the Samajwadi Party, the JD-U, the RJD and the Janata Dal-Secular announced a united front to counter the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.A JD-U leader said: “Merger of the RJD and the JD-U is on cards to strengthen secular forces…”
He said none other than Nitish Kumar himself said that “we resolved to work together and in the near future there is a strong possibility we might merge and form one party”.According to the JD-U and the RJD leaders here, if both parties contest next state assembly polls as an alliance, there will be serious problem of seat sharing.
The JD-U, which has 118 legislators in the house, will bargain for more seats and the RJD, which has 23 legislators, will put its claim for more seats on the basis of its performance in the last Lok Sabha polls.In August, Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar jointly campaigned during the by-elections in Bihar. The JD-U, the RJD and the Congress won six of the 10 assembly seats.That was the first time the two leaders came together after a gap of 20 years. It was in the 1991 Lok Sabha polls that Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar last campaigned together.
Lalu Prasad then said he and Nitish Kumar wanted to send a strong message across the country to unite non-BJP forces.Nitish Kumar, who quit as Bihar’s chief minister in May after his party was routed in the general elections, has been repeatedly targeting Modi.He said Modi has failed to bring back black money stashed abroad by Indians within 100 days of taking power.
In a bid to expose Modi’s double speak, Nitish Kumar said: “Modi had promised to bring back black money after being elected to power. But he has failed to do that even after 150 days.”The JD-U ended a 17-year alliance with the BJP last year after Modi was declared the prime ministerial candidate of the party.