The Weekend Leader - RJD, JD-U likely to merge ahead of assembly polls

RJD, JD-U likely to merge ahead of assembly polls



Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) are likely to merge ahead of assembly elections next year.

Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi Monday said that if the two parties became one, it will emerge as a powerful political force.

"The merger of the RJD and JD-U will benefit both in the next assembly polls," Manjhi told the media here.

The idea was first suggested by Bihar Transport Minister Ramai Ram, who said a united party would defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the next assembly polls.

"Instead of a grand alliance, both parties should merge."

Ram has the support of some RJD leaders including legislator Bhai Virendra.

A RJD leader close to Lalu Prasad added that the RJD chief and JD-U leaders Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar had agreed in principle to merge the two parties to take on the BJP.

The development comes nearly four months after Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar joined hands in Bihar and 10 days after leaders of the Samajwadi Party, the JD-U, the RJD and the Janata Dal-Secular announced a united front to counter the Narendra Modi government.

The JD-U ended a 17-year alliance with the BJP last year after Modi was declared the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP. - IANS