Senior Bihar minister for merger of RJD-JD(U)

SansadTV Bureau

Senior Bihar minister Ramai Ram on Monday strongly advocated merger of RJD and JD(U) and not an alliance to become a strong force to take on BJP.

“Vilay se majbooti ayegi gatbandhan me dhokhaghari hota hai (merger will provide strength because in alliance there is scope of betrayal), Ram told.

When Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi was asked the same question, he told that these matters would be decided by senior leaders of the two parties like Sharad Yadav, Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar.

“My role will come once when these leaders take decision,” he said after “Janata Ke Darbar me Mukhya Mantri” programme.

Though Manjhi did not speak whether the two splinters of old Janata parivar should merge or enter into tie-up, he highlighted the positive outcome in the recent bypoll in Bihar when the two parties along with Congress contested together against BJP.

“We won 6 out of 10 seats and lost marginally on two seats. To defeat BJP we need to move together in future too,” Manjhi flanked by a number of ministers of his Cabinet said.

When the same question was asked to senior minister Vijay Chaudhary, a close confidant of former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and considered as number two in the state government, he said “the issue (whether there will be merger of tie up between the two parties for Bihar Assembly poll) is premature”.

But, Ramai Ram, eight term MLA and who served as minister in earlier government of Lalu Prasad as well his wife Rabri Devi, was strongly in favour of merger saying in tie up, parties try to “create hurdles for each other.”

Ram, who is Transport minister in Manjhi Cabinet, said he was working for merger of JD(U) and RJD.

During a luncheon meeting at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh recently which was attended by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, Sharad Yadav, Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar and representative of Om Prakash Chautala INLD, it was stressed that splinters of old Janata pariwar should unite again to take on BJP.

After success in Bihar Assembly bypoll, Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar are scheduled to address joint political meetings in Jharkhand poll.

Though state RJD President Ramchandra Purbe and other senior leaders from the state were not available for comment as they are in Jharkhand for campaigning, party MLA Bhai Birendra backed the proposal of merger.

“I am of the firm view that RJD and JD(U) shall become one party and contest election on one election symbol…I welcome this proposal of merger from core of my heart,” Bhai Birendra, RJD MLA from Maner in Patna district, told.