Enthused by the success in Bihar Assembly bypolls, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav has decided to extend the experiment of uniting all parties to defeat the BJP to all states.
“The task is difficult and fraught with a lot of inner contradictions, but I have made up my mind to get everybody on board to fight the BJP in the new scenario,” Yadav told The Indian Express here on Tuesday. “The Left parties would be with us for sure, but we will rope in others as well,” he said.
Yadav said, “We would have made a clean sweep in the Bihar bypolls with a little bit of better home-work, but from now on, we will be more diligent and outmatch the 31 per cent vote-share of the BJP and its allies (in Lok Sabha elections)… Wiser after our rout in Lok Sabha polls, we took three steps — Nitish Kumar resigned as the CM to get the RJD and Congress along to foil the BJP attempt to topple the JD(U) government and then joined hands with them to win Rajya Sabha and Assembly bypolls,” he said. “The same arrangement, in the same spirit will continue till the remaining term of the present assembly,” Yadav said.
The JD(U) chief, who has set his eyes on the erstwhile Janata Parivar, pointed out that the BJP-expansion could be sourced to the fragmentation of the second-largest outfit in the country. According to him the inheritors of the Janata legacy — Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik, H D Deve Gowda, Ajit Singh and Prakash Chautala — represent a formidable line-up and the BJP upsurge had been arrested wherever they were strong, as in Bihar and Orissa.
As for the clash of interests and personalities like Lalu and Nitish, the JD(U) chief said, “Their political DNA is the same — they clash when they have to enjoy power, but it is currently a struggle for survival and therefore, they will stick together.”
When asked if the common plank will be secularism, the JD(U) chief said, “Secularism for us goes beyond religions — it includes all regional, linguistic and caste divisions as well. Our slogan is ‘Total Justice’ (Sampoorna Nyay),” Yadav said. While the new battle-cry aims to evoke the symbolism associated with Jayprakash Narayan’s “Total Revolution”, it also sounds more inclusive than the “social justice” of the Mandal vintage.
Given that the JD(U) had aligned with the BJP for nearly two decades, it cannot suddenly charge the BJP of communalism. The focus of the non-Congress parties, therefore, is expected to be more on economic policies of the new regime, like FDI in insurance sector, defence, railways and retail, which would suit the Left as well.
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