The ruling Janata Dal (United) got a shot in the arm ahead of the general elections, as top leaders from different parties joined it on Sunday.
Former Union minister and Samajwadi Janata Dal (Democratic) president Devendra Prasad Yadav joined the ruling JD(U) and he is set to contest the Lok Sabha election from Jhanjharpur.
He had launched his party in 2010, after parting ways with RJD president Lalu Prasad.
Yadav also announced the merger of his party with the JD(U) in the presence of chief minister Nitish Kumar, state JD(U) president Bashishtha Narayan Singh said.
Singh said the candidature of Yadav, a former MP, has almost been finalised by the party but it would be formally announced in a day or two.
Speaking on the occasion, Yadav expressed allegiance to Kumar and said he took the decision to merge his party with the JD(U) to strengthen secular forces in Bihar ahead of the general elections.
Former minister Bagi Kumar Verma and former officer and Samata Party president NK Singh also joined the JD(U) along with hundreds of their supporters.
Verma is likely to be fielded as JD(U) candidate from the Aurangabad Lok Sabha constituency. The sitting JD(U) MP, Sushil Kumar Singh, was recently expelled from the party along with four others on the charge of anti-party activities. He is expected to fight the elections as a BJP candidate.
Singh, a former CBI joint director, had hit the national headlines in late 1970s when he arrested former prime minister Indira Gandhi and later formed the Samata Party with George Fernandes and Nitish Kumar and several prominent socialist leaders.
He had also unsuccessfully contested thrice against the JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav from Madhepura parliamentary constituency, in 1998, 2004 and 2009.