Sharad Yadav paves way for JD(U)’s merger with RLD
The outgoing Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav by not seeking fresh term has paved the way for merger with Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which is headed by Ajit Singh. According to senior party functionary, in the situation of merger Ajit Singh would be made party’s national president to give the party an impetus in the upcoming UP assembly elections.
Notably talks are on with JD(U) top brass with the leaders of Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya), RLD and Peace Party for their merger in JD(U). According to senior party leaders, all the parties have agreed for the merger, which is likely to be announced in next week.
Since JD(U) is eyeing bigger share in UP assembly polls and it cannot be possible without the support of Jat voters. Singh is a prominent Jat leader from Western Uttar Pradesh, who has influence over the dominant population of the state and has the support base to spoil the victory party of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
RLD has been an important player in western Uttar Pradesh, while Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya) formed by former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar has little influence in the state after Mulayam Singh Yadav walked out of it and formed Samajwadi Party.
JD(U) has also roped in Peace Party, which has some presence in eastern UP, mainly in areas around Grouper. Peace Party chief Sub Andrei had also met Nitish Kumar and JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi to discuss the issue.
As JD(U) lacks a cadre base in Uttar Pradesh, it hopes to gain from alliance with regional parties like RLD and Peace Party. Also Nitish Kumar’s persona could help these parties in cementing their vote base. The RLD, which in the past called the shots in western UP with its Jat-Muslim combination, is a considerably weakened political entity in the region following a rupture in its support base after the Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013. However, RLD hopes that Kumar, with his pro-Muslim image, could help undo some of the damage.