The likelihood of ‘like-minded, socialist and secular parties’ joining hands before Uttar Pradesh polls has taken a beating with many regional parties rejecting Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s merger offer.
On Friday, Mulayam had ruled out the prospects of a grand alliance in the state, adding that the merger of regional parties with SP was the only plausible option.
Mulayam’s offer has, however, hardly found any takers.
“When other regional parties were keen on a merger ahead of last year’s Bihar elections, the SP chief walked out on us. Since then, much water has flown down the Ganga. The JD (U) is not willing to consider the merger proposal at this juncture”, the party’s newly appointed secretary general KC Tyagi said.
Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), rejected the merger option. “Mulayam’s brother Shivpal approached us with the proposal. The SP chief now talks of a merger. The RLD cannot accept the proposal”, party spokesman Trilok Tyagi said.
Janata Dal (Secular) secretary general Danish Ali said a decision on the merger could not take on the eve of an important election. “The JD (S)’ organisational elections are concluding and the party’s national convention is being scheduled ... At this stage, it is impossible for us to consider the merger idea”, he said.
Only the RJD – whose chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has a matrimonial alliance with the SP – adopted a cautious approach. “Politics is evolving in a manner that – if smaller parties are to survive – they need come together. But modalities need to be meticulously worked out...,” party spokesman Manoj Jha said.