Jan Morcha blasts Mulayam
The first tentative move at getting splinter groups of the old Janata Dal parivar together is under experiment in UP. On Tuesday, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan put aside their rivalry to find a common target: Mulayam Singh Yadav (and Amar Singh).india Updated: May 31, 2006 01:47 IST
Lalu, Paswan share dais at rally
The first tentative move at getting splinter groups of the old Janata Dal parivar together is under experiment in UP. On Tuesday, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan put aside their rivalry to find a common target: Mulayam Singh Yadav (and Amar Singh).
Significantly, the two were brought together by former PM V.P. Singh, whose recently-revived Jan Morcha — under Raj Babbar — will take on the might of the Mulayam government in the 2007 polls in the state. Tuesday’s Mukti Sangram (Fight for Freedom) rally of the erstwhile JD family members was the first battlecry by a non-BJP, non-Congress formation against the “corrupt and anti-farmer” SP regime.
It is another matter that Mulayam himself is a product of the Janata parivar, which has broken into several groups over the years, with each split blurring its ideological line so that the JD(S), like the JD(U) and BJD, had no hesitation in aligning with the BJP.
After Tuesday’s rally, Mulayam must be a worried man as the VP-Lalu-Paswan brigade — with the help of CPI’s A.B. Bardhan and RSP’s Abani Roy — read out a chargesheet against him and urged people to dislodge his government. Also lending their voice were former PM Chandrashekhar (who sent a message), Justice Party leader Udit Raj and other leaders of smaller parties.
The CPM was conspicuous by its absence, fuelling speculation that general secretary Prakash Karat may have decided to give company to Mulayam to ensure the latter does not go for a tacit tie-up with the BJP in desperation.
After all, there’ve been charges of the SP leader sharing a comfort level with the saffronites and there is the JD(S) example in Karnataka for all to see.
Singh focused on the problems of farmers and attacked the Amar Singh-led Development Council, which “grabbed” the land of the poor to give to “capitalists”. But the tone and tenor of the attack on Mulayam was set by Lalu, who doesn't seem to have forgotten the damage the SP did to him in the Bihar polls. He dubbed Mulayam a “banyan tree” under which nothing grows, and accused him of hobnobbing with the BJP-NDA and making tall claims about “Uttam Pradesh”. Lalu also said Amar Singh had broken Mulayam's back.
But the question that persists is whether the Jan Morcha will turn out to be another “vote katua” instead of a viable alternative? With the BSP seen as a frontrunner and the SP's main challenger in the 2007 polls, it might be a little too early to assess the Morcha’s impact. But yes, Mulayam would be worried at their potential vote-cutting capacity. If their campaign picks up, VP-Lalu-Paswan could cut into the SP's minority, OBC and SC votes though the latter belongs largely to the BSP.