The recent political upheavals in Bihar is seeming inspiring new political equations in the state. According to reports, the three political bigwigs – Mulayam Singh Yadav, Sharad Yadav and Lalu Yadav – are planning to join hands and assert themselves.
Quoting close sources, Asian Age reported that Mulayam Singh Yadav of SP, the senior most amongst the three leaders, has been in talks with JD(U)‘s Sharad Yadav and Lalu Prasad Yadav of RJD and the three leaders could come together to form a front of sorts. A close confidante of Sharad Yadav also hinted that the JD(U) veteran is mulling form a new party to remain with Bihar's ‘mahagathbandhan’, PTI reported.
Differences have surfaced between Yadav and his party president Nitish Kumar over his decision to join hands with the BJP after dumping the coalition with the RJD and the Congress. The political enigma has also brought the SP, BSP and RJD together and fueled talks.
A senior JD(U) leader and a trusted aide of Yadav, Vijay Verma, said, “Sharadji is in touch with old friends and is pondering over the political situation. Forming a new party is one of the options to which a serious thought is being given.”
Reports say Lalu Yadav has already appealed to Sharad Yadav to lead the battle against ‘fascist forces’ and a meeting between the two is likely in the coming days. Sharad Yadav has discussed the issue with Mulayam Singh Yadav in Delhi recently and Shivpal Yadav was also present at the meeting.
However, there is reportedly a disagreement among the three over joining hands with the Congress. While Sharad Yadav and Lalu Yadav are keen on continuing their relationship with the Congress, Mulayam Singh Yadav is still averse to the idea.
“We are trying to convince Netaji to give up his resistance to the Congress in larger interests. He is still a trusted leader among minorities and the BJP is openly targeting his Samajwadi Party by engineering defections. At the moment, it is a question of the political survival of Netaji and all his supporters because it is apparent that there is no room left for him in the Samajwadi Party led by Akhilesh Yadav”, a Mulayam aide was quoted by the Daily.
Though his party supremo joined hands with the BJP, Sharad Yadav had emphatically said that he would continue to be part of the coalition of secular parties. He had also met Congress leader Gulam Nabi Azad and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury. Yadav’s confidante Verma also said that the veteran socialist leader has ruled out joining the NDA government at the Centre as a minister.
JD(U) MPs Ali Anwar and M P Veerendra Kumar, who opposed the decision to go with the BJP, have met Yadav over the issue. Yadav, who is presently a JD(U) member from Rajya Sabha, had kept silent over Kumar's decision to dump the alliance over the graft case against Lalu Prasad's son and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav.
He had later publicly expressed unhappiness over joining hands with the BJP. “People's mandate was not for it (joining hands with the BJP),” Yadav had said outside Parliament on 31 July and termed the disintegration of the alliance as “unpleasant” and “unfortunate”.
Lalu Yadav and Sharad Yadav have been left on no man’s land after Nitish Kumar opted for an alliance with the BJP to continue as chief minister.
A close aide of Lalu Yadav in Lucknow said: “As far as I know him, he is unlikely to sit back and accept his fate. He thrives in adversity and all of us are confident that he will bounce back. I know something is cooking but it is too early to give a statement”.
Though RJD and JDU do not have any base in Uttar Pradesh, the two hope to mop up the disgruntled elements from the Samajwadi Party. “We can stop the disgruntled Samajwadis from going to the BJP if Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav agrees to lead from the front”, Mulayam loyalist was quoted by DC.
Meanwhile, the president of the Lok Dal, Meanwhile Sunil, reiterated his offer to hand over his party to Mulayam Singh Yadav. “The Lok Dal essentially belongs to socialist leaders and I will be only too happy if Netaji can take over the party and take it back to its original glory”, he said.
However, KC Tyagi, JD(U) principal general secretary and another close confidant of Yadav, termed any such proposed move as “rumour”.