Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav will oversee the merger of six socialism-inclined Janata Parivar splinter groups to consolidate secular and opposition forces against the BJP’s growing clout.
As expected, Mulayam was chosen to pave the way since his party has the biggest presence in Parliament with five MPs in the Lok Sabha.
Leaders of the SP, the Janata Dal (Secular), the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Janata Dal (United), the Indian National Lok Dal and the Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya) authorised Mulayam at a meeting at his residence on Thursday to prepare the draft for the proposed reunion.
JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar said they felt there should be one party because they subscribe to and follow the same philosophy and principles.
More than love for one another, it is the fear of rapidly diminishing political relevance and the rise of the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi that is driving the reunification process, sources said.
But Kumar, the former Bihar chief minister, contested the fear factor that has apparently compelled them to reunite after decades. He said the aim was to form a platform in the current political atmosphere.
He said the six parties would like to work in tandem with entities like the Left Front, which would be approached. He did not, however, elaborate.
The season of reunification began in August when Lalu Prasad and Kumar — irreparable foes for 20 years — rushed into each other’s arms to fight a common and pressing enemy that has been bearing down on traditional bastions of regional leaders since its overwhelming victory in the Lok Sabha elections this summer.