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Bihar leaders out to settle scores

india Updated: Jun 26, 2006 01:13 IST
M Hasan
M Hasan
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BIHAR VICTORS and losers have now descended on UP to settle scores with Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav. While the victorious Janata Dal (U) has tied up with Apna Dal for the next assembly elections, those on the losing side, like Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan, have joined VP Singh’s Jan Morcha Alliance (JMA).

After a successful rally here on May 30, VP Singh’s juggernaut has moved westward to first target the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) headed by Chaudhary Ajit Singh. The JMA organised its first show of strength in Meerut on June 24. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar landed in Naxal-affected Mirzapur, along with JD (U) president Sharad Yadav and Apna Dal chief Sone Lal Patel, on Sunday to launch operation demolition against the Samajwadi Party. The JD (U) alliance has plans to concentrate on eastern UP because of a large presence of Kurmis in the region.

On the other hand, the JMA will hold around 40 public meetings in western UP next week to widen its base in Jatland. While roping in Jat leader Mahendra Singh Tikait and others who are associated with the Bharatiya Kisan Union, the JMA has also been trying to win over well-entrenched Muslims. The JMA has already established contact with Minister for Haj and Minorities Welfare Haji Yaqoob Qureshi, who has floated the Muslim Manch in Meerut, in this connection.

Though Paswan has been trying for a JMA-Congress alliance in the State, the possibility appears to be far-fetched. But VP Singh has succeeded in splitting the Left Front in UP. CPI general secretary AB Bardhan, by joining the May 30 rally along with the RSP’s Abani Roy, has given a clear message to other LF leaders, mainly Prakash Karat of the CPM, that on the UP issue, his priorities are different.

Karat, during a recent meeting with Mulayam Singh, had talked about the Third Front, but with other Left parties sailing in VP’s direction, there appears to be no such possibility in the State. Moreover, the LF doesn’t have much of a presence in UP to make the Third Front a success.

The SP may also have reservations about sharing seats with the CPM because of its negligible presence. In the JMA, seat-sharing is open among various allies.