Bihar: Nitish, Lalu ego clash may hurt 'Janata parivar'
Plans to formalise a merger of splinter units of the ‘Janata Parivar’ ahead of the Bihar elections appear to have been abandoned. The failure of old socialists to announce a merger after several rounds of deliberations during the past year has also raised question marks on the possibility of an alliance.india Updated: May 25, 2015 23:40 IST
Plans to formalise a merger of splinter units of the ‘Janata Parivar’ ahead of the Bihar elections appear to have been abandoned.
The failure of old socialists to announce a merger after several rounds of deliberations during the past year has also raised question marks on the possibility of an alliance being firmed up between Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) for the Bihar polls.
Given the intransigent stand adopted by Prasad and Kumar, a deadlock on the seat-sharing formula persists. “Both leaders realise they will face electoral doom in upcoming elections, unless they pool in their resources. It is this realisation that might eventually force the two to strike an alliance,” sources said.
After dropping hints about his willingness to accept Kumar as the chief ministerial candidate of the “secular formation”, sections within Prasad’s party are pressurising the leadership to re-think these plans as they feel it could provide a fresh lease of life to JD(U) at the expense of the RJD.
After BJP’s stupendous performance in last year’s parliamentary elections in Bihar, the RJD and JD(U) had jointly contested the ensuing by-polls and posted electoral benefits as well — winning six of the 10 seats.
“It is a radically transformed situation today as the BJP is nowhere near its peak popularity while Kumar’s image and standing has taken a huge beating following wrong decisions and idiosyncrasies. In today’s scenario, RJD will stand to gain, if it goes on its own. The next electoral battle is emerging along just two verticals — BJP versus RJD,” Prasad’s aides said.
Prasad’s supporters are also buoyed by AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa’s reprieve in the disproportionate assets case. ‘If Jayalalithaa can return as CM, why should Laluji give up his claim,” a key aide asked.
The Congress is closely monitoring the churnings. While a majority of its leaders favour a broad-based alliance to keep the BJP out, it is also keeping open the option of fighting on its own.