RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Monday said the Janata Parivar parties were likely to contest the Bihar elections as “alliance partners”, echoing SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav’s statement that the merger was not possible before the Assembly polls.
Lalu virtually ruled out any possibility of an immediate Janata Parivar merger even as Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar asked people to remain patient. “Dhire dhire re mana, dhire sab kuchh hoye,” he said at his weekly janata darbar here.
After returning from Delhi on Monday, Lalu said: “What Ram Gopal Yadav said about the procedure of symbol allotment is true. It seems we have to now go to polls as alliance partners.” Amid signs of unease within the SP, Ram Gopal Yadav on Sunday had said: “The merger is not possible before the Bihar elections due to technicalities. If we merge in a hurry, it will be like signing the death warrant of our party.”
However, Nitish remained hopeful of a unified party ahead of the polls. “In a democracy, everybody has the right to speak but the fact is that there is no irritant in the merger of Janata Parivar now… there is no question of going back on it.”
The Bihar CM, meanwhile, also attacked the Narendra Modi government at the Centre, saying its performance is “not so impressive”.
“There is no point rating the Centre’s performance when the PM did not appear for the examination. There are no answersheets,” he said.
Even, an alliance between RJD and JD(U) depends on several factors —the first hurdle is seat-sharing for 24 Bihar Legislative Council seats which are falling vacant in July. Congress has been reportedly demanding four seats.
“The seat-sharing between JD (U) and RJD alone would show if everything is right with the alliance. There is now little chance of Lalu declaring Nitish as CM nominee.
Ousted RJD MP Pappu Yadav has been already spreading the word among a section of Yadavs that Nitish cannot be an acceptable CM nominee ,” said an RJD leader.
Pappu on Monday held a rally at Madhepura and flayed Lalu. Last week he was expelled from RJD for indiscipline and anti-party activities amid reports of Lalu being upset with him for often challenging the party chief’s politics.