After 30-year long separation, Sharad Yadav to merge his party with Lalu’s RJD, vows to strengthen Opposition
Sharad Yadav who has been part of various coalitions, other than UPA led by Cong, founded LJD in 2018 after he was expelled from JDU. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar got him disqualified from Rajya Sabha also
With an aim to strengthen Opposition in Bihar and the rest of India, veteran socialist leader and former Union Minister Sharad Yadav has announced to join his former comrade Lalu Prasad Yadav’s party RJD, ending 30-years long political separation from his former friend since Janata Dal days.
Sharad Yadav’s party Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) will be merged with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on March 20, said the announcement.
Sharad Yadav who has been part of various coalitions, other than the UPA led by Congress, founded LJD in 2018 after he was expelled from JDU. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar got him disqualified from Rajya Sabha also.
“This step (merger) has been necessitated as an initiative of my regular efforts for bringing together scattered Janata parivar in view of the current political situation in the country,” Sharad Yadav said in a statement, claiming the BJP government has been a failure and people are looking for a strong opposition.
Highlighting that the Janata Dal alone had 143 seats in Lok Sabha in 1989, the former Madhepura MP said the agenda for social justice has lost its pace with the disintegration of the party over the years.
Interestingly, Sharad Yadav along with Nitish Kumar overthrew Lalu’s government in Bihar in 2005.
Born in Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh, Sharad Yadav started his political journey from Jabalapur where he studied Engineering.
He first entered Lok Sabha after winning Jabalpur by poll in the 70s when the JP movement was at its peak.
His camaraderie with Lalu Prasad Yadav dates back to the 1970s when Janta Dal was formed after the Emergency.
Despite resounding victory in the 1977 elections, Janata Dal could not last long and the party went through split after split caused by ego clashes and lack of ideological commitment.
In the time of churning, Sharad Yadav remained with the Charan Singh faction in Janata Dal.
Towards the end of 1990s when Janata Dal was again divided, Sharad Yadav merged his party with Samata Party, then led by veteran leader George Fernandese and Nitish Kumar.
Three stalwarts of Indian politics, coming from Janata Dal background, then had founded Janata Dal (United) which is now part of the BJP led NDA in Bihar and center.
Sharad Yadav's friendship and rivalry with Lalu Yadav make an important part of Bihar’s political gossip.
Both the stalwarts of Yadav politics, fought against each other and joined hands several times only to fight against each other again to serve their political interests, said a Bihar watcher.
While Sharad Yadav won Lok Sabha election from Madhepura seat four times, he was defeated by non-other than Lalu Yadav two times whom he is set to join hands with.
But the important thing is that defeats could not hinder his way to remain relevant in Delhi’s power corridors.
He was elected to Rajya Sabha thrice. He holds the record of being a seven term MP – four times Lok Sabha MP, three times Rajya Sabha MP.
Yadav was appointed minister by the BJP veteran Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he formed the NDA government in 1999.
Sharad Yadav believes “all like-minded parties should come together to build up a strong opposition” ahead of 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Watchers believe his failing health played catalytic role in the announcement for the merger at a time when both the veteran leaders are considered at a fag of their career.
Published: 17 Mar 2022, 3:15 PM