Samajwadi Party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav and Janata Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav on Wednesday said they were working to bring together "socialist forces" to counter a resurgent BJP.
“Whenever the country faces any political adversity, socialist forces unite. We are paving the way for bringing socialist forces together from here,” Sharad said at the SP’s ninth national convention.
Mulayam, who was elected as the party’s chief for the ninth consecutive term, also talked of bringing together the “Janata Dal parivar”.
The JD (U) and its arch-rival RJD, both offshoots of the disintegrated Janata Dal, recently joined hands in Bihar and regained in assembly by-polls some political ground lost to the BJP in the general election.
The SP too is a splinter group of Janata Dal, which had formed a short-lived government at the Centre in 1989 with the help of some regional parties, but could not live up to its promise of providing an alternative to Congress due to factionalism.
In Kerala, Socialist Janata (Democratic) Party headed by former Union minister MP Veerendra Kumar merged with JD (U) last month, strengthening the talk of an alternative national political front.
Several parties strongly felt the urge to unite after the Narendra Modi-led NDA won 31 of 40 seats in Bihar and 71 of the 80 seats in UP in the Lok Sabha poll, enabling the BJP to win an absolute majority for the first time.
“Communal forces have managed to win power at the centre by telling lies. We have to end it,” said Sharad.
Reminiscing their old friendship, Sharad recalled how the SP chief had nominated him for Rajya Sabha after his defeat in Lok Sabha election. This bonhomie has fuelled speculation that the SP might nominate Sharad to Parliament again.
Both leaders attacked Modi, with Sharad accusing the prime minister of “lying to gain power”, while Mulayam criticised him for “hobnobbing with India’s old enemy, China”.