The much-awaited merger of Janata Parivar constituents was officially put off on Monday till the Bihar elections, even as RJD chief Lalu Prasad threw the ball in Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s court, saying it was time to take a decision about the alliance.
JD(U) maintained it was ready to fight the polls in alliance with RJD. However, neither of the two parties were willing to give in on the issues of seat-sharing and chief ministerial candidate.
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Speaking to The Indian Express, JD(U) national spokesperson K C Tyagi said: “Our president (Sharad Yadav) met Lalu Prasad Sunday evening. The merger has been put off till the polls. We will go to polls as alliance partners and will soon start discussing seat-sharing.”
Nitish did not attend the key meeting and said he was recuperating from an eye ailment.
The RJD chief, meanwhile, remained non-committal on projecting Nitish as the CM candidate and insisted on holding seat-sharing talks first.
“I telephoned Nitish Kumar one week ago and said we should now sit together quickly and decide about alliance, elections, seats and other such issues. Various kinds of talks about us are doing the rounds and they are making the environment unpleasant,” Lalu told reporters.
“I am now saying we should hurry up over the mega-alliance… All issues including that of leadership and chief ministerial candidate will be sorted out once there is finality about the alliance,” he said.
Both JD (U) and RJD, it has been learnt, are ready with a Plan B in case the Lalu-Nitish alliance fails to take off.
A JD (U) leader confirmed the party has been in talks with BSP, Congress and CPI, while the RJD is reportedly planning to form an alliance with former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha and the Congress as an alternative.