IN WHAT is being seen as a significant realignment of political forces ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) and Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) held their first joint rally Tuesday and agreed to project Jayant Chaudhary, former Lok Sabha MP from Mathura and Ajit Singh’s son, as the combine’s chief ministerial face for the polls scheduled early next year.
Addressing the rally in Badaut town of Baghpat district, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took on the BJP and said the NDA government at the Centre is “doing nothing” for a state that has “given 72 MPs to the party” in the Lok Sabha.
Baghpat, in western UP, is seen as an RLD stronghold.
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With former BSP leader R K Choudhary joining them on the dais, Ajit Singh, a former Union minister, said they expect other smaller parties to join the alliance in the run-up to the elections.
Dismissing the BJP’s claims that it would form the next government in UP, Nitish, addressing his 10th public rally in UP since assuming charge in Patna in November last year, said the saffron party has a “habit of creating rumours” about its victory. “In Bihar, too, they (BJP) had claimed they would win, but the results are there for everyone to see. They are adopting a similar tactic in UP,” Nitish said.
“I am shocked how a state which has given 72 MPs to the BJP is so badly neglected by the party…especially the farmers,” he said.
Former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi and JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Yadav also shared the stage. Nitish later unveiled a life-size statute of former Prime Minister Charan Singh, Ajit Singh’s father.
JD(U) secretary general K C Tyagi said that by holding a joint rally with the RLD chief, the JD(U) wants to raise issues concerning marginal farmers in UP.