JD(U) and RLD announce plans of UP alliance, attack Mulayam and Modi

Bihar’s ruling JD(U) and Uttar Pradesh’s RLD announced an alliance for the upcoming UP polls, and blamed Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for “repeatedly derailing attempts to forge a grand alliance against the BJP”, on Monday.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2016 21:14 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times
UP assembly election,Grand alliance,Mulayam
Samajwadi Party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav (centre) with leaders of other parties including the RLD, RJD and JD(U) at the party's silver jubilee celebrations in Lucknow, on November 5, 2016. (Ashok Dutta/HT File Photo)

Bihar’s ruling JD(U) and Uttar Pradesh’s RLD announced plans to stitch an alliance, and blamed Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for “repeatedly derailing attempts to forge a grand alliance against the BJP in poll-bound UP”, on Monday.

Rastriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh, JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav and BS-4 leader Bachan Singh Yadav held a joint press conference to announce their alliance which will contest on all the 403 Assembly seats.

“There is no name of this alliance as of now but it will be an honest alliance. Though this is an alliance of three parties, talks are on with other smaller outfits,” they said.

Attacking Mulayam, Ajit Singh said during Bihar Assembly polls all ‘Lohia wadi’ and ‘Charan Singh wadi’ parties had agreed for an “alliance with SP” but then SP declined.

“Now when alliance talks were on with SP, Mulayam talked about merger,” he said, wondering, “Why Mulayam does not want any alliance against communal forces.”

Read | Mulayam’s grand alliance plans for UP polls falter as Nitish to skip SP event

The parties had earlier fuelled talks of a mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in UP when they shared the stage on November 5 during the SP’s silver jubilee celebrations. Mulayam Singh also floated the idea of a UP alliance to counter the BJP, but nothing concrete emerged.

However, on Monday, Sharad Yadav and Ajit Singh categorically blamed Mulayam for the alliance’s failure to launch.

“We don’t know what Mulayam Singhji’s compulsions were that led him to puncture the alliance twice on one pretext or the other. Possibly you know it already,” Singh said.

The BS-4, a local outfit formed by rebel Bahujan Samaj Party leader RK Chowdhary, also agreed to join the alliance. However, Lalu Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), which is part of Bihar’s ruling coalition, is keeping away.

“RJD isn’t going to be part of the coalition. It isn’t even certain if Laluji would contest the UP polls or not,” RLD general secretary Jayant Chaudhary told Hindustan Times while adding that the JD (U) and RLD were in touch with several smaller parties for the alliance.

The Congress, which is also part of the Bihar coalition, has not committed to joining the coalition. The party’s campaign strategist Prashant Kishor had met Mulayam Singh Yadav twice, fuelling talks of an alliance.

“We don’t know what happened since,” Ajit said.

Read | No possibility or intention of joining any ‘grand alliance’ in UP: Congress

The new alliance is also unclear on whether it will project a ‘leader’ during its campaign for the upcoming assembly polls. “All of us are leaders,” Ajit said as he evaded the question.

Attacking the SP chief, the JD (U) and RLD leaders said, “In Bihar, where we projected him as a leader of the grand alliance, he walked out saying he was against the merger. In UP, after we had broadly agreed to contest the polls together, Mulayam insisted on a merger. Only he can explain his about-turn and what has forced him to do so.”

The leaders also targeted the Narendra Modi government’s decision to scrap the 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes.

“We aren’t opposed to checking black money but against its implementation. In fact, we are all for it. But, just see how whole of India has been made to stand in a queue. The country and its rural poor are experiencing immense hardships.”

They also attacked the Centre over the train derailment mishap, and said instead of focusing on basics amenities such as rail infrastructure, the PM was trying to bring bullet trains to the country.

(With inputs from PTI)

First Published: Nov 21, 2016 21:14 IST