The Janata Parivar, currently trying to crystallize into one single party, today held a public rally here with its agenda to expose the “lies” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of black money and to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government.
Earlier this month, the leaders of six Janata Parivar political parties had decided to merge into one single party. Today, they renewed their vow and called for a larger opposition unity.
But tough questions are likely to confront the putative political party from the outset with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders D P Tripathi and Tariq Anwar sharing stage with the Janata Parivar leaders while Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sending a letter of support through her emissary party MP Derek ‘O’Brien.
The NCP had recently given outside support to the BJP government in Maharashtra, while Janata Parivar leaders have publicly accepted the support of the left parties, Trinamool’s chief rival in Bengal, as their comrades in arms in the fight against Modi’s BJP.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)’s Lalu Prasad and Janata Dal (United)’s Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav called for “sinking old prejudices” and promised to “script a new story”.
The protest was also attended by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda of JD(S), Dushyant Chautala of Indian National Lok Dal and SJP’s Kamal Morarka. The name proposed for the new party, though a final decision is yet to be taken, is ‘Samajwadi Janata Dal’.
Former Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said the six parties should also contact others as well. “Let us make a comprehensive Opposition,” he said.
Attacking the government on several issues, Lalu Prasad said, “An attempt is being made to persistently target Mamata Banerjee”. He said that while people talk about the differences between him and Nitish Kumar, “we have come together now”.
The leaders said the youth of the country was feeling the most cheated with the Modi government. Kumar said Modi’s promises on black money have turned out to be a hoax.
Sources said the grand merger of the former constituents could take time but the beginning would be made with the merger of Prasad’s RJD and Kumar’s JD-U, in view of the assembly elections in Bihar by end-2015.
JD(U) President Sharad Yadav, a prime mover behind the unity moves, attacked the NDA government for “drifting” from its poll plank of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. “You have not got the mandate for this Kamandal Baba, Chimta Baba and Balti Baba. You had not sought votes for them. If you think that everybody should adopt the same religion. Seek a fresh mandate on it in elections,” Yadav said.
BJP spokesperson Shrikant Sharma termed the ‘mahadharna’ by Janata Parivar leaders as a get together of “brand ambassadors of mis-governance and corruption”.
The six parties – SP, RJD, SJP, JD (U), JD (S) and INLD – have come together on most issues in the ongoing winter session. These parties account for 30-seats in the Rajya Sabha and 15 in the Lok Sabha.