JD(U)-RLD Merger Eyes Al­liance With Cong in UP

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: The forth­com­ing merger of Ajit Singh’s RLD with Ni­tish Ku­mar-ledJD(U)isjust­the­be­gin­ning of a larger ex­per­i­ment that may see the JD(U) and Congress try­ing to repli­cate a Bi­har-like grand al­liance in UP for the assem­bly elec­tions next year, ac­cord­ing to lead­ers in­volved in be­hind-the-scene strate­gis­ing.

While RLD’s merger with JD(U) will lead to Singh oc­cu­py­ing a se­nior po­si­tion in the merged party at the na­tional level, his son and for­mer MP Jayant Chaud­hary may be the UP unit pres­i­dent of the party, sources said. There are a num­ber of po­lit­i­cal fac­tors and in­ter­est­sthat­makethe­com­ing­to­gether of the merged JD(U) and Congress to form an al­liance for UP poll in

evitable. Both par­ties rec-

og­nise their mu­tual need to pool their re­sources to take on en­trenched ri­vals such as the SP, BSP and BJP. Fur­ther, af­terSPlead­erMu­layamSinghYa­dav ‘spoiled’ the Janata Pari­var merger at­tempts last year, Ku­mar, Singh and Congress share a po­lit­i­cal aver­sion to Ya­dav, who also fielded SP can­di­dates against the grand al­liance in Bi­har.

Fur­ther, the tra­di­tional ri­valry RLD and Congress share with BSP makes their com­ing to­gether to form an anti-BJP plat­form in­evitable, a source said. In­ci­den­tally, Ku­mar’s cam­paign strate­gist-turned-ad­vi­sor Prashant Kishor is the cam­paign strate­gist of Congress in UP.

“The merger is meant to ex­pand our party by re­in­forc­ing the com­bined in­ter­ests of the two par­ties and po­si­tion ef­fec­tively in the UP polls by tap­ping the joint strength,” said Sharad Ya­dav, who is set to step down as JD(U) pres­i­dent. Ex­plain­ing his de­ci­sion to step down from the pres­i­dentship, Ya­dav said: “I have com­pleted my third con­sec­u­tive full term as JD(U) pres­i­dent. Last­timethep­ar­ty­con­sti­tu­tion,which had­fixed­capont­wocon­sec­u­tivet­erms for­par­typres­i­dent,had­to­bea­mended to ex­tend my term. I don’t want to amend the con­sti­tu­tion again, there­fore, have cho­sen to step down.”

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