“We will fight the (Bihar) election independently and with our full might.” said SP National General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav in a press conference in Lucknow.
The Samajwadi Party says that they walked out of the Janata Parivar arrangement because the JD(U) and the RJD did not consult them in the seat-sharing talks.
“SP felt humiliated as ‘big’ parties of the (Grand) Alliance did not consult us while declaring candidates in Bihar,” said Ram Gopal Yadav.
“We will win much more seats by contesting on our own as compared to that being offered by the alliance. We will contest respectfully,” Yadav added.
Bihar is set to go to polls later this year and a Grand Alliance of Nitish Kumar’s JD(U), Lalu Prasad’s RJD, Mulayam’s SP, the Congress and other small parties was formed to take on the BJP led NDA alliance in the state. The Janata Parivar was formed in April more like an anti-Modi bloc in the state, whose leader was SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. Regional heavyweights and one time rivals, Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad, came together to take on the NDA alliance whose campaign is being led by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After much back and forth and several rounds of talks the alliance had zeroed in on Nitish Kumar as its chief ministerial candidate in the state.
In the seat-sharing talks, it was decided that JD (U) and the RDJ will fight from 100 seats each. Congress was given 40 seats to contest from. The rest were distributed among the minor players. Thus SP got very few seats to contest from as the party does not have a big presence in the state.
After Samajwadi Party’s startling decision, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav decided to play down the split.
“I have seen that. But let me tell you our alliance will remain. We will talk. We will find a solution. I will not go into details but let me assure you it will not hurt our alliance…We are old very old colleagues. I have to talk to Bhai (brother) Mulayam. I have talked to him once. I will talk to him again. We will resolve this finally,” said Yadav.
The battle for Bihar is gathering steam by the day. PM Modi has already held 4 mega rallies in different parts of the state. He has also announced a special economic package of Rs 1.25 lakh crore for the state. In most rallies the PM has attacked the Nitish-Lalu duo accusing them of spreading the “poison” of casteism and communalism.
The anti-Modi bloc have also begun their counter campaign. On Sunday, Nitish Kumar held a massive rally in Patna where he openly took on the PM.
Mulayam’s exit from the alliance comes as a setback to for the Janata Parivar which is seen as a grouping of regional forces. Now, besides JD(U), RJD and Congress, the Parivar also includes JD (S), INLD and Samajwadi Janata Party (Chandra Shekhar). Last month, NCP had pulled out of the alliance.