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New Delhi: Former Union minister Sharad Yadav’s party Loktantarik Janata Dal merged with Rashtriya Janata Dal on March 20 as part of efforts to unite various offshoots of the erstwhile Janata Dal.
“He (RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav) is the future. Today we need young people. RJD is your party, you have to strengthen it. Strengthen his hands. I cannot be active like before. But I will do my best to strengthen him. We will talk to Akhilesh (Yadav, of the Samajwadi Party) to strengthen our fight…I believe Lalu Pradad will walk free one day. He would not have been in jail had he compromised with communal forces,” Sharad Yadav said, according to Indian Express.
This merger comes 25 years since Yadav and Lalu Prasad, the RJD patriarch, parted ways.
Lalu Prasad had quit Janata Dal in 1997 to form his own party over his differences with its leadership. Sharad Yadav, then seen as Lalu’s rival within the Janata Dal, joined hands with Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar.
The two ended RJD’s 15-year reign in Bihar in 2005.
“This step 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,” the 74-year-old Sharad Yadav had said in a statement, claiming the BJP government has been a failure and people are looking for a strong opposition.
Yadav had also said that the Janata Dal alone had 143 seats in Lok Sabha in 1989, and that its agenda for social justice had lost its pace with the disintegration of the party over the years.
Sharad Yadav’s daughter had fought the 2020 assembly polls in Bihar on a RJD ticket but lost.
(With PTI inputs)