Janata Parivar to meet on Sunday

RSTV Bureau

mulayam_leadersThe six parties of the erstwhile Janata Parivar could announce their decision to merge into one on Sunday following a meeting in which the name of the new political entity and its symbol will be decided.

The new socialist entity will have a ‘Samajwadi’ tag, said sources in JD-U.

“All the leaders of the Janata Parivar constituents will meet at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence on April 5, where the name of the new party, its symbol and programmes will be decided,” sources said.

The meeting is expected to be attended by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav, RJD President Lalu Prasad and representatives from Indian National Lok Dal and Samajwadi Janata Party.

Mulayam, whose SP has the largest number of MPs among the parties which have planned the proposed merger, will be the chairman of the new umbrella entity.

The April 5 meeting will decide as to what would be the election symbol of the new entity. Currently each of the six constituents of the erstwhile Janata Parivar has a separate symbol.

The wheel symbol of Janata Dal was frozen in 1999 as the party was split into JD-U led by Sharad Yadav and JD-S under HD Deve Gowda when the former decided to join the then NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpyee. The two parties were then allotted separate symbols.

Sources said what while the new party’s name could be either Samajwadi Janata Party or Samajwadi Janata Dal, the party is actively considering the wheel symbol as well as the cycle, which is currently the SP party symbol.

In Parliament, Mulayam could be the leader of the new group in Lok Sabha while Sharad Yadav could be named its leader in Rajya Sabha.

SP has five members in Lok Sabha followed by RJD with four MPs while JD-U, JD(S) and INLD each has two legislators, giving the grouping a total of 15 members in the Lower House.

In Rajya Sabha, too, SP leads the pack with 15 members while JD-U has 12 and INLD, JD(S) and RJD one MP each. Their total number in the Upper House is 30.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was in the national capital last week and had held back-to-back meetings with the Janata Parivar leaders, visiting even Tihar jail to meet INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala.

He had also called on AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Kumar, Sharad Yadav and KC Tyagi (JD-U) and Lalu Prasad and Prem Chand Gupta (RJD) had also met at Mulayam’s residence with the SP chief having been authorised by all these parties to work out the merger plan of the emerging political entity.

With their backs to the wall after being trounced in the Lok Sabha polls by the Narendra Modi-led BJP in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, SP, JD-U and RJD are particularly keen that the merger happens fast.