The Janata Dal (United) has decided to support the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi polls in spite of fielding six candidates of its own, creating confusion within its ranks and further jeopardising a proposed grand Janata alliance.
The move upset the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Samajwadi Party, all of whom are contesting the February 7 elections.
"JD(U) will support Arvind Kejriwal’s party and senior leader Nitish Kumar will canvass for AAP candidates", state party president Bashistha Narayan Singh said.
Though the JD(U)had tied up with the Congress in Bihar, it was free to chart a different political course elsewhere, Singh said. Party president Sharad Yadav said his party and AAP were on the same side on the issue of pressurising poor people with money and alcohol. He also defended Kejriwal for his comment asking voters to take money from other parties and vote for AAP.
"I don’t think Kejriwal encouraged to voters to take bribes", Yadav said, asking for a review of an Election Commission notice to the AAP chief.
JD(U) national general secretary K C Tyagi, however, said no final decision had been taken yet on supporting the two-year-old party in Delhi.
"Both the SP and RJD have fielded candidates. In such a situation, we haven’t yet taken a decision to support the AAP", Tyagi said. The issue also put a question mark on the possible merger of six constituents of the erstwhile Janata parivar as RJD chief Lalu Prasad has already decided to campaign for the Congress in the Delhi polls. The Congress has asked its central leadership to review its support to the Jitan Ram Manjhi government in Bihar.